Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos was recognized for its durability, strength and ability to insulate. It was widely used in the 1940s and before and began to decline in the 1970s when it was discovered to be a hazardous material. It was used in the making of shingles, paint, insulation and various other construction materials. It was “banned” in 1977.
If you own a home that was built before 1980, there is a good possibility that your home contains asbestos. Asbestos can be released when any type of remodeling or repair takes place. This can be something as minor as scraping paint off the walls. If the material containing asbestos is disturbed, asbestos will be released. The small fibers are released into the air and can become harmful when inhaled. Exposure to asbestos can cause many health problems, especially pertaining to the lungs. It has been known to contribute to different kinds of cancers. One of the most harmful and deadly side effects of asbestos exposure is mesothelioma. This is a cancer that develops in the lungs and has a poor prognosis once diagnosed. Diagnosis of mesothelioma is often difficult because the symptoms mimic those of other ailments. Once diagnosed, the disease is often in its advanced stages and can be difficult to treat. Once the disease is in its final stages, the focus is more on making the patient comfortable as there isn’t a cure for this disease and remission is unlikely in the advanced stages.
If a material containing asbestos is left alone, there is usually no risk. You are at risk, however, if any material containing asbestos is disturbed. Drilling into walls, chipping off old paint, replacing shingles or siding are just a few renovations that could cause a risk to asbestos. If you think your home may contain asbestos and you plan on doing any remodeling or repairs, you should contact a professional. A professional can test for asbestos and take the proper steps to remove any asbestos in your home.