Air contamination occurs when unwanted or hazardous materials, such as asbestos, affect the air around us.
Asbestos is odorless, tasteless and the fibers are invisible to the naked eye. In comparison to a human hair, an asbestos fiber is about one ninth of the width.
Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause severe health problems including mesothelioma cancers, lung cancer and asbestosis, as well as other conditions.
Airborne asbestos fibers are the most dangerous because they can be easily inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can become lodged in the lining of the lungs and are unable to be broken down or expelled by the body’s natural defenses.
There are no immediate symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, in fact mesothelioma symptoms may take 20-50 years to develop.
Could you be at risk for exposure?
Asbestos was widely used as a building material for insulation and fireproofing up until the late 1980’s.
Rooms with poor ventilation keep fresh air from circulating in, making it hazardous for people entering into rooms with asbestos such as attics and basements. Also, workers that installed asbestos-containing products are at a greater risk due to the large disturbance of loose fibers.
Concentration of fibers in homes, schools, or other buildings can range from 30 to 6,000 fibers per cubic meter. It is important to know if the buildings you spend time in contain asbestos.
The presence of loose or disturbed asbestos in your work or home creates a larger danger since you generally spend the majority of your time in those places.
Home renovations on houses built before the 1990’s can be another potential dangerous situation due to the likelihood of asbestos being present.
Go for professional inspections and removal services
If you are conducting a home renovation remember to keep your working area well ventilated, and if you come across a substance that might be asbestos or contains asbestos, stop and get it inspected. Asbestos removal should be performed by a professionally trained contractor.
As you can see, air contaminated with asbestos poses severe risks to your health. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe.
Feel free to learn more about asbestos and mesothelioma at the Mesothelioma Center and visit them on Facebook and Twitter.