Home Health What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?

What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?


Illness is something that no one wants to deal with, especially when it is related to your home and the environment that you are living in. Asbestos has been a common building material for decades, luckily, the ill side effects are now known and it is no longer used. That being said, it is still present in plenty of buildings and can cause a range of health problems.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is soft and flexible by nature and also heat resistant. This is part of the reason that it was so commonly used in construction as it did provide some measure of fire protection. Asbestos has fibers that are very thin and therefore can enter the respiratory tract easily and without notice. They are also very easily propelled to be airborne so that they can be breathed in quite easily to cause a great deal of trouble.

What is made of Asbestos?

There is a range of construction materials that are commonly made of asbestos or that do contain a measure of asbestos. Asbestos tiles are the most common, both roofing tiles and floor tiles. When these items or materials are undisturbed they are relatively harmless. When these items are disturbed or attempts at improper removal are made, this is when the particles go airborne and are the most dangerous.

Asbestos is highly dangerous as it is so common and can be found in many buildings that were in and before the 1950s. Asbestos was used long before the real health consequences of the product were fully researched which is why it is so prevalent and so hard to deal with. Proper removal requires that the team removing the material take special precautions to cover their mouths, eyes, and noses so that no fibers are inhaled.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is dangerous because it is so easily breathed into the system. Asbestos also causes a type of cancer, mesothelioma, that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos. Mesothelioma is lung cancer that is characterized by extensive damage and scarring to the lungs that makes it difficult and often nearly impossible to breathe. This cancer is caused when the fibers enter the lungs and start to scar and cut the soft lung tissue.

What to Do If You Come In Contact with Asbestos?

The first step after exposure to asbestos is to take the time to visit your doctor. They can better determine if you need to go to a specialist, if you need further medical intervention, or if you are going to need further treatment. They can also help to explain what symptoms to look for, what course of action to take in medical terms, and how to deal with the ill effects of asbestos as well as help you learn about the diagnostic process. In some cases, you may be able to take legal action against the party responsible for exposing you to the asbestos.

Mesothelioma is not something to take lightly. With proper care and early detection you can live with mesothelioma, you just need the right help.