We’ve all heard about the dangers of asbestos in our homes. What is Asbestos anyway? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be pulled into a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibers are soft and flexible yet resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. These qualities make the mineral useful, but they also make asbestos exposure highly toxic. Asbestos in its pure form can be an effective insulator, and it can be used in cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger. But when someone inhales or ingests asbestos dust, the mineral fibers can be trapped in the body becoming extremely harmful.
Exposure to Asbestos
Breathing is the most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body. When the mineral releases dust or fibers into the air and it is inhaled is when it becomes dangerous. If the asbestos fibers are passed to the lungs or swallowed into the digestive tract, they become trapped. These fibers trapped in the body can lead to serious health issues. Asbestos is most hazardous when it is friable – meaning the asbestos can be crumbled and release fibers into the air. The spray on type of asbestos insulation is very friable, whereas asbestos floor tile is not. Age, damage and deterioration can increase the friability of asbestos-containing materials.
Negative Health Effects from Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos fibers are hard to eliminate and the body is not able break them down or get rid of them once they are lodged into the lungs or body tissue. The trapped fibers can lead to three main diseases:
Testing for Asbestos
Because asbestos exposure can lead to serious health problems, it’s critical that you test your home prior to remodeling or renovation work. If you home was built before 2004, then there is a possibility that some materials might contain asbestos. Bend Asbestos provides asbestos testing and asbestos surveys for residential and commercial customers throughout Central Oregon. Our certified inspectors utilize advanced techniques in order to thoroughly inspect & test your property for traces of asbestos to protect your family.