This article is a guide to asbestos. It explains what it is, what it was used for, and why it is no longer used due to the hazards it poses to health. Read on to find out more!
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre that was mined and used for insulation, fireproofing, and other purposes. It is now banned in a large number of countries worldwide. Asbestos fibres are very small. As a result, they float through the air and can be carried by wind to nearby areas such as residential neighbourhoods and schools where they can get easily inhaled into your lungs. The dangers associated with this is that the human body cannot expel asbestos fibres and they stay in your lungs long after exposure occurs.
What Was Asbestos Used For?
During the last century, asbestos was used in a large number of applications. Although there are many harmful health effects associated with exposure to asbestos fibres, it was also true that asbestos can provide some benefits if used correctly. The most common uses for asbestos are:
For insulation purposes
Asbestos was commonly found in building insulation, cement pipes, fireproofing, and other construction materials. Asbestos was also used as an ingredient in brake pads, roofing tiles, and floor tiles as well as some plastics.
As a fireproofing material
It was commonly used in fireproof gloves, helmets, clothing, and shoes. It was also mixed with cement to form special tiles for the insides of ovens.
Why Was Asbestos Used?
Asbestos was inexpensive
Asbestos was popular because it is very inexpensive. It also has high levels of tensile strength, which means that it can be stretched a lot before it breaks; this makes it useful for insulating buildings and other structures.
Asbestos worked well with cement
Asbestos fibres are very small, which means that they can be mixed with cement to form a gooey paste-like substance that dries quickly. This helps make the cement stronger and provides better insulation against heat.
What Are The Hazards Of Asbestos?
Asbestos can be harmful if inhaled into the body and inhaled for long periods of time. Asbestos can present with respiratory complaints such as nosebleeds, throat irritation, coughing and asbestosis. Asbestosis results in inflammation and scarring on the lungs which can result in breathing and, ultimately, death.
If you suspect a building you are renovating contains asbestos, you must make contact with an asbestos removal company.