Are asbestos really dangerous?. Yes, asbestos is indeed considered… | by Anna Pichiri | Jan, 2024

Yes, asbestos is indeed considered dangerous to human health. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals composed of thin, microscopic fibers. Due to its heat-resistant and durable properties, asbestos was widely used in various construction materials, such as insulation, roofing, flooring, and pipes, from the early 20th century until the late 20th century.

The health risks associated with asbestos arise when its microscopic fibers become airborne and are inhaled or ingested. Prolonged exposure to these fibers can lead to serious health conditions, including:

  • Asbestosis: A chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, resulting in scarring of the lung tissue. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, persistent cough, and chest tightness.
  • Lung Cancer: Asbestos exposure increases the risk of developing lung cancer. This risk is particularly elevated among individuals who smoke.
  • Mesothelioma: A rare and aggressive form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Mesothelioma is strongly associated with asbestos exposure.

It’s important to note that asbestos-related diseases often have a long latency period, meaning symptoms may not become apparent until many years after exposure. Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen by major health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Due to the recognized health risks, the use of asbestos has significantly decreased in recent decades, and many countries have implemented strict regulations for its handling, removal, and disposal. If asbestos-containing materials are suspected in a building or structure, it is crucial to consult with professionals trained in asbestos identification and abatement. Attempting to handle or remove asbestos without proper precautions can release harmful fibers into the air, posing a serious health risk.

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