Asbestos: What is it and why is it dangerous?

Asbestos is a group of six naturally occuring minerals composed of soft, flexible fibers that are strong, durable, heat-resistant, non-corrosive, non-conductive, sound dampening and are used in over 3000 building products. Sounds great right? Sure, these factors make it a useful mineral, however, they also make asbestos exposure extremely dangerous and highly toxic. 

Asbestos is used in everyday building materials, commonly found in our home, for a list of materials that may be considered “suspect” take a look at our blog, https://docs.google.com/document/d/19iS76dyl7npkEm4kpCJm-dmN5jYX7zIOKMPmSiXFCec/edit

There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, which is why the strict rules and regulations are put in place by the State of Colorado and enforced by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). Scientific studies have shown that exposure to asbestos has been linked to several different diseases, including but not limited to; Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, and various types of cancer including ovarian, lung, and laryngeal. Once asbestos containing materials are damaged or disturbed, asbestos fibers are released into the air and are easily inhaled once they become airborne. Asbestos accumulates in the body each time you are exposed to the fibers, andt once the damage is done, there is no way to reverse it. 

What is Mesothelioma? A tumor of the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs 

How do you get Mesothelioma? Asbestos exposure is the main cause of Mesothelioma 

Symptoms of Mesothelioma: 

*Pain in the side of the chest or lower back

*Cough

*Shortness of breath

*Trouble swallowing

*Swelling of the face or arms

*Hoarseness

What is Asbestosis? A chronic lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. 

How do you get Asbestosis: Asbestos exposure is the cause of Asbestosis 

Symptoms of Asbestosis: 

*Shortness of breath

*Pain in your chest or shoulder

*Persistent cough

*Wheezing

*Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

*Loss of appetite with weight loss

Ways you can avoid asbestos exposure

*Have any suspect materials in your home tested by a Certified Asbestos Building Inspector before damaging or disturbing them

*If you are a contractor or you work for a contractor, make sure you are following the OSHA regulations regarding asbestos

Not only is damaging or disturbing suspect materials extremely dangerous to your health, it is also illegal in the State of Colorado. Contact BuildSafe, Colorado’s trusted experts in asbestos testing!

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