The dangers of asbestos in our home

Asbestos is a mineral that until recently was frequently used in the field of construction, until the dangers derived from its use could be observed.

From this, different regulations emerged through which most countries decided to eliminate them from the environment, prohibiting the manufacture of elements containing this mineral from 2001. In addition, it was obliged to proceed with its elimination from any construction where it was present.

That is why we are going to start analyzing what are the dangers of asbestos in our home, we will know this material a little better and we will learn to differentiate it from others that may be similar, in addition to explaining the best way to remove it with maximum safety.

However, if you want to find professionals who are responsible for the removal of this material, we recommend that you contact this uralite removal company. They are experts in this field.

What is asbestos

Asbestos, also known as asbestos, is a fibrous mineral made up of long fibers that have great flexibility and resistance.

These fibers can be detached very easily, and have an enormous capacity to withstand high temperatures.

Thanks to this, in the past it was considered as a fantastic material for the manufacture of resistant, insulating and good durability covers. In fact, there are indications that as early as the Stone Age it was frequently used by man.

However, it would not be until the nineteenth century when its use was widespread in industry and especially in construction, until the early twentieth century began to detect that there was a relationship between serious lung diseases and the handling of this type of materials.

In 1970 many countries began to stop using asbestos, but it would not be until 2001 when the manufacture of products using asbestos would be banned. Little by little, most countries were also establishing laws that forced its elimination of any type of construction or place where it had been used.

What is asbestos

Health Hazards of Asbestos

There are different diseases and pathologies that are related to asbestos, but the most important because they are much more common and deadly are asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. There are also others that we are going to know and that can lead to very serious health problems.

These are the main health hazards of asbestos:

  • Asbestosis: is diffuse pulmonary interstitial fibrosis, which can affect the parenchyma, visceral pleura and parietal pleura.
  • Malignant mesothelioma: this is a diffuse malignant tumor that occurs in the mesothelium, and can affect the pleura, pericardium and peritoneum.
  • Lung cancer: a greater predisposition to the appearance of lung cancer is observed in those people who have been more exposed to asbestos and who at the same time were also smokers.
  • Other neoplasms: other less common but also to consider neoplasms are gastrointestinal carcinomas and laryngeal carcinomas.
  • Suspicious: there are also some diseases whose development from exposure to asbestos has not been confirmed, but which are suspected of developing as a result of this mineral such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer and kidney cancer.
The dangers of asbestos

How can I differentiate asbestos from other materials

To determine if there is any kind of risk in our environment, the first and most important thing is that we must learn to differentiate asbestos and other materials that can be similar and lead to confusion.

Some key aspects that can help us determine the presence of asbestos are:

  • If the material has been manufactured before 2002, it may contain asbestos, and if it is from this date, it will be another material since its manufacture was already prohibited.
  • Most likely, we do not know the year of manufacture of the piece, but we can be guided if we can know when the construction containing these materials was carried out.
  • In the event that we keep the documentation related to the installation of the roof, the materials used can be checked.
  • If we observe that the piece of uralite has the inscription “NT”, it will indicate that they are safe plates without asbestos.
  • A small sample can also be obtained and sent to the laboratory.

Despite being able to identify approximately the presence or not of asbestos, it is important to bear in mind that only a qualified professional will have the full capacity to determine if it is really asbestos or another type of material.

The best thing we can do in these cases is to contact a asbestos removal professional directly.

How to differentiate asbestos

Can I remove asbestos myself?

If you want to remove asbestos, the first and most important thing you should take into account is the state in which it is.

Generally, asbestos occurs in roofs manufactured under the brands Uralita or Fiber cement.

This cover, at the time of being handled, will release small amounts of asbestos, in particles small enough to enter our respiratory system. In this way they accumulate and you can develop some of the different diseases they cause.

It is estimated that the useful life of a piece of uralite or fiber cement is approximately 20 years in good condition, so if you are under this age, in principle there should not be too much problem for us to take the piece and take it to a specialized collection center (it will never be thrown into a container).

But if it has more time, presents poor condition or small deterioration or must be dismantled with the risk of small breaks, then the risk is very high, so it is recommended that it is not touched under any circumstances.

In these cases it is essential to contact a professional company, since it will have the necessary means not only to remove the pieces with maximum safety for the operators, but also prevent asbestos from floating in the environment.

We must remember that the greatest risk of asbestos fibers is the fact that, the smaller they are, the longer they remain floating in the air, especially if they come from blue asbestos or crocidolite. Therefore it is easier for them to reach our respiratory system in the following hours after handling the piece.

For that reason, our recommendation will always be that you contact uralite removal professionals, and so you will have the total assurance that both you and all your family and neighbors, will remain completely protected against this dangerous compound.

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By Catharine Bwana