September 05, 2019
Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been mined extensively in the past and used over a long time. It is normally mined as a fluffy, soft and a flexible material. Asbestos possess some attractive characteristics such as good resistance to corrosion, electricity and heat. These characteristics make asbestos applicable in many sectors. Although asbestos have been proven to be very useful, it has some detrimental effects on us.
Photo: A small block of Chrysotile Asbestos. Source: Wikipedia
Asbestos have been used widely in the building and construction industry. They are used as a strengthening material for plastics and cement. Additionally, asbestos are used as roofing material, sound absorbers, insulating material and as a fireproof material. Since asbestos are fibrous in nature, any materials containing asbestos releases some tiny fibers into the air when they are disturbed. These microscopic fibers are like tiny needles that are not visible to the naked eye. When you breathe, these needle-like fibers enter your respiratory system. The fibers usually get trapped in the respiratory system especially the lungs and thereafter remain in the lungs perpetually. Once the fibers accumulate in the lungs up to a certain limit, they cause inflammation and scarring in the lungs resulting to very serious breathing issues. Some health agencies have done research on asbestos and it has been found to cause a rare type of cancer referred to as mesothelioma. This kind of cancer affects chest and abdomen membranes.
Photo: Needle-like structure of Asbestos seen under a microscope
Asbestos also causes a health complication known as asbestosis. This is a respiratory and non-cancerous disease. When inhaled, asbestos fiber damages lung tissues. Due to this damage, the affected person suffers from short breath, some cracking sound in the lungs while breathing and even cardiac failure. Asbestosis is a dangerous condition as there is no prove treatment for this condition. The most affected group of people by this disease are those who demolish or renovate structures containing asbestos.
In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos exposure causes lung cancer. It causes the largest number of deaths when compared to mesothelioma and asbestosis. The most affected people are the miners, millers and manufacturers of asbestos products. The affected people usually have a prolonged cough, persistent pain in the chest, anemia and hoarseness.
We uphold a strict “No-Asbestos” policy at ARIS Performance Silicones, the health and safety of our staff and partners are our greatest assets and is never compromised. A certificate of compliance or “Non-Asbestos” declaration is available upon request for all customers.