Understanding the Dangers of Asbestos
Asbestos is a mined mineral that has been mined from the earth for over a century now. It was once thought to be a cure all products because it was so versatile. Unfortunately, in the 1980s it was found that asbestos was the cause of one of the most deadly cancers known to man, mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer that has limited treatment options. It is extremely rare for a patient to go into remission after being diagnosed with this type of cancer, and the treatment offered is care and comfort only.
As heart ripping as it may seem, almost every patient who is diagnosed with mesothelioma dies from the disease, or a related disease due to their low immune system. These patients suffer through tremendous pain as they progress through the disease, and many of them need repeated surgeries to reduce symptoms and remove tumors to make them more comfortable, and buy them more time to live.
The Problem with Asbestos
Many people are under the impression that when it was discovered that mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, that the product was pulled from the market. Unfortunately, this is not true. Asbestos still resides in the insulation of homes that were built during this time frame.
It also exists in new construction because the EPA only restricted the use of the product, they did not completely ban the use of Asbestos.
Asbestos is still used in the following applications:
- Cement corrugated sheet
- Cement flat sheet
- Pipeline wrap
- Roofing felt
- Vinyl floor tile
- Cement shingle
- Cement pipe
- Automatic transmission components
- Clutch facings
- Friction materials
- Disk brake pads
- Drum brake linings
- Brake blocks
- Non-roofing coatings
- Roof coatings
Because of the approved uses for asbestos, a large quantity of newly constructed homes contains asbestos in some form or another.
Testing for Asbestos
Whether you live in a regular home or one of the shipping container homes that are now available, it is important to test your home for asbestos. Test kits can be found easily at your local hardware store and online. The test can be performed in your own home, which can make you feel a little better about the results.
At any time that you are testing for asbestos or any other chemical or mineral danger, it is important that you are properly equipped and read about the proper way to remove samples for testing. This will ensure that you do not spend spores into the air, causing possible personal contamination or the contamination of your family members who come into contact with your clothes or the area you were testing in.
This is not a subject to blindly walk into and care must be taken to ensure that you follow all safety protocols that have been set forth by the EPA. If you do find asbestos, you will need to contact a contractor to ensure that the material is closed in or removed in the proper manner.