Most people associate asbestos with its use in buildings as heat and fireproofing measures from decades ago. Indeed, asbestos was commonly used as fireproofing material which wrapped water pipes and was placed in walls to prevent the spread of fire from one room to another.
However, as the asbestos wrapping aged, it released the substance now know to lead to mesothelioma when inhaled. Asbestos was banned or severely limited for use in the late 1970s and since then there has been large-scale programs to remove the substance from buildings across the US.
Most people don’t know about the more unusual sources of asbestos. While the chances of being exposed to asbestos from these sources is small, it pays to know where it might be located outside of older buildings.
1. Asbestos in Nature
It may seem surprising to some, but asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that can be found around the world. While mining for asbestos in the US stopped in the early 2000s, you can still find the substance in nature in virtually every state.
Exposure to asbestos in this manner is limited and thus contracting mesothelioma as a result are extremely rare. This is because only long-term exposure in enclosed environments have proven to pose a major health threat. Still, there is a risk for those who ingest the material or ride off-road vehicles that continually stir up the asbestos fibers and make them airborne.
Many natural areas that have asbestos are marked and should be avoided by riders, hikers, and campers who otherwise might risk an unnecessary exposure to the mineral.
2. Asbestos in Home Decor
In an unusual case, an Italian carpenter who worked in a small furniture factory for six years died roughly thirty years later from a rare form of mesothelioma. The source turned out to be cement tubes that were used to create classical columns used for home decoration. No one at the time suspected that the tubes contained asbestos, but it does demonstrate how it can turn up in the most unlikely of places.
Because there is no standard test available, it is hard to say where exposure to asbestos originated. This makes it difficult to properly diagnose mesothelioma in the early stages where it can be more effectively treated.
If you are concerned about the potential presence of asbestos in your residence or business, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. They can provide the expertise needed to find asbestos and remove it safely from where your live or work.