Asbestos

A highly versatile and once highly valued and well used material, this is now a known cause of cancer.

Roofing shingles, siding materials, vinyl flooring, artificial embers and ashes for gas fireplaces, insulation, hot water tank blankets, pipe tape, gaskets for oil or coal furnaces, car brakes, and fire resistant clothing are just a few items in which asbestos has been used.

 

Highly versatile due to its resistance to heat, resistance to corrosion, and light weight, asbestos fibers are woven into cloth or mixed into compounds to be used in manufacturing and construction. While the use of asbestos has been regulated is has not been eliminated.

 

Demolition, remodeling, or repairs to older buildings can release tiny asbestos fibers into the air where they can be inhaled.

What if I have Asbestos in my Facility?

It is difficult to identify items containing asbestos by simply looking it over. If you suspect an item contains asbestos then treat it as if it does until proven otherwise. If you should find materials you suspect may contain asbestos do not disturb the material if it is in good shape. If the material is damaged and possibly releasing fibers into the air limit exposure to the material until it can be removed or repaired by a professional. Before having an older structure remodeled it is best to have it tested for asbestos. The ripping or tearing away of materials could lead to the release of asbestos fibers.

Health Effects of Exposure to Asbestos

Inhaled particles of asbestos can cause many health problems. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma, lung and other types cancer, as well as asbestosis. When exposed to asbestos smokers are at a higher risk to develop these health problems. These diseases can take years to develop and become evident.

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