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Asbestos Information

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Asbestos Under Microscope

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is the collective term used to describe several silicate mineral fibers that are found in many types of products across the United States.

Because asbestos will not burn or conduct electricity, and is a chemically resistant material, it was quickly incorporated in many materials and products which benefit from fireproofing or insulation. Scores of commercial uses were found, ranging from the lining of car brakes to the Insulation and fireproofing of various materials which were used to build homes and all types of commercial and industrial buildings throughout the nation.

Types of Asbestos

There are two general types of asbestos, amphibole and chrysotile.Some studies show that amphibole fibers stay in the lungs longer than crystotile, and this tendency may account for their increased toxicity (harmfulness to the body).

Asbestos Under Microscope

Why is asbestos dangerous?

Asbestos has long been suspected as a health threat to humans, because the fibers can be inhaled and are difficult to remove from the lungs. Significant exposure to any type of asbestos will increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusions. Diseases from asbestos exposure take a long time to develop. Most cases of lung cancer or asbestosis in asbestos workers occur 15 or more years after initial exposure to asbestos. The time between diagnosis of mesothelioma and the time of initial occupational exposure to asbestos commonly has been 30 years or more.

Where is asbestos found?

  • Floor and ceiling Tiles
  • Insulation (Electric, Fire, Heating)
  • Brake Shoes
  • Cement Wallboard, Siding, Pipes
  • Fireproofing Materials (Fire resistant coatings on structural steel, Blankets, Curtains, Doors)
  • Ductwork, Caulking/Putties, Adhesives, Plasters
  • Joint Compounds, Spackling Compounds
  • Roofing Shingles, Felt
  • Textured Paints/Coatings
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