What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?

Asbestos is one of the most common materials used in building construction. It is a building material utilized particularly in making roofs, enhancing the insulation of a building, as well as making a structure fireproof and soundproof.

While there are many obvious benefits to using asbestos for building structures, there is a major downside to using this material for construction purposes.


Health Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos can be quite dangerous to human health. Asbestos fibers can be hard for the body to get rid of once they get into a person’s system.

There are a number of serious diseases that might result from asbestos exposure such as Asbestosis, different forms of cancer including Mesothelioma, and various lung diseases because of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestosis – Asbestosis is one of the most common diseases caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to scarring of the lungs. This respiratory disease can result in symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough, as well as fatigue. Asbestosis could also cause other critical health problems such as cancer.

Mesothelioma – Mesothelioma is a form of cancer primarily affecting the lungs, abdomen, and chest. According to an article from Oregon State University, in the US, around 10% of workers who have jobs in the production of gas masks that contain asbestos, develop Mesothelioma.

The American Cancer Institute has also stated that several studies found out that asbestos exposure can lead to cancer of the larynx and the ovaries.


Who are at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Individuals who are at risk of being exposed to a substantial amount of asbestos are mostly workers who have jobs in manufacturers of products containing asbestos.

Contractors who are exposed to building materials that have asbestos such as roofs are also at risk of inhalation of this dangerous material.