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The Dangers Of Asbestos

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was commonly used in homes and other buildings as insulation. The use of asbestos for these purposes was banned in 1989 when the EPA issued the Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule. However, why were many asbestos-containing products banned?

If Asbestos powder and fibers get inhaled, they can get stuck in the lungs, accumulate, and cause irritating and scarring.

            The main issue came about in 1918 when the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report recording an abnormally high rate of premature death among workers who dealt with Asbestos often. These include construction workers, shipyard workers, and miners. Despite mounting evidence of harm, regulations to deal with asbestos exposure did not come about in the US until the 1970's. During this time, the link between Asbestos and many lung-related diseases has been shown.

            If Asbestos powder and fibers get inhaled, they can get stuck in the lungs, accumulate, and cause irritating and scarring. Over time, this can not only cause several lung-related diseases known as Asbestosis. Symptoms of Asbestosis include: shortness of breath, coughing, and can even cause permanent lung damage. Prolonged Asbestos exposure can most notably lead to lung cancer. Specifically, a certain kind of lung cancer called Mesothelioma. These fibers can also get trapped in clothing, and brought home from work, and can increase the risk of cancer for your family as well.

                Asbestos is not dangerous simply by itself, however, which made banning asbestos as a whole difficult. The initial full ban of this mineral was overturned in the 1991 court case Corrosion Proof Fittings v. the Environmental Protection Agency. While asbestos powder causes mesothelioma when inhaled, super-heating Asbestos down with sand into a solid glass silica sheet got rid of the fibers, and thus the toxicity of the product.

What is the law regarding Asbestos in new york?

Simply put, if there is work to be carried out where materials which could contain asbestosare to be disturbed, then an asbestos inspection must be carried out and an ACP5 form filled out and submitted by a licensed inspector.

What materials are likely to contain asbestos?

The most common materials for asbestos are roofing materials, floor tiles, brick mortar, drywall, joint compound and hundreds more - almost anything except wood and fiberglass. Find out more about Asbestos here.

Eoin Finnegan