Five Facts About Asbestos That You Should Know

Five Facts About Asbestos That You Should Know
  • Opening Intro -

    It's unlikely that you have never heard of asbestos, and it's also improbable that you have never heard that it can pose a health threat in some circumstances.

    However, there are probably multiple things you do not know about this substance.

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Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment and is comprised of a fibrous material. Each fiber is about 700 times smaller than a strand of human hair. Due its fire-resistant qualities, many builders choose to use asbestos. Floor tiles and insulation have often included some asbestos in amounts ranging from 1 to 100 percent. Unfortunately for homeowners, asbestos has become a known carcinogen. It has been outlawed in 55 countries around the world and in every industrialized nation except for the United States and Canada. What follows are five pieces of information that you should learn more about.

Deaths

From 1979 to 2001, there were a total of 230,000 deaths linked to asbestos. As a carcinogen, microscopic pieces of asbestos lead to mesothelioma and lung cancer. Although it can cause other health problems, these two conditions account for the majority of asbestos-related deaths.

Building Products

One of the most common building products that is designed out of asbestos is known as Zonolite. This material is a part of an estimated 35,000 homes, schools and workplaces across the United States.

Daily Death Rate

Out of every three deaths due to occupational cancer, one is due to asbestos. This fiber causes a total of 30 asbestos deaths every day. Throughout the course of a year, thousands of people die from asbestos exposure.

Top Producers and Users

Across the world, the largest producer of asbestos is Russia. This nation creates a total of 1,000,000 metric tons of the chemical every year. The next four leading producers are China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Canada. When it comes to using asbestos, China leads the way with 613, 760 metric tons. India uses 426,363 metric tons every year. The next three major users of asbestos are Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.

The Wizard of Oz

In one of the scenes in the Wizard of Oz, the actors wander through a field of poppies. This field was created by using asbestos snow.

Although there are many interesting statistics and stories that involve asbestos, individuals and homeowners should always keep in mind that asbestos is dangerous. It a known carcinogen that is still in many homes and buildings in the United States and Canada. Regular exposure to asbestos can lead to lung cancer. Since smoking damages the lungs, smokers are more likely to suffer from asbestos-related illnesses. As long as the building material is intact and not disturbed, it should pose only a minimal risk to the occupants of any building. Due to this, individuals should always hire trained professionals to remove or modify any asbestos-based product. Asbestos cleanup and abatement are projects best left to professionals that have dealt with the substance and know proper removal methods to keep those around construction (or destruction) areas safe. Research more about this substance before you take any major action, and you should also make sure you’ve consulted appropriate professionals.

Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three fun kids, and a writer covering all things real estate, finance, home improvement, and entertainment. She recommends consulting residential cleaning services in Edmonton (and all over) such as Grimebusters Ltd. that are able to help you with asbestos abatement.

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