December 7, 2011

insulation with asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral, known to Greeks as "miracle mineral" due to its durability, flexibility, and resistance to heat and chemical damages. Asbestos is composed of long and thin fibers that become airborne when damaged and disturbed. In the United States, the mineral is used in numerous industries and about 3,000 commercial products including: vinyl tiles, caulk, roofing and ceiling tiles, brakes shores, textiles, insulation, cement, and many more. It is used as fireproofing and insulating material in factories, schools, homes, and ships.
What are the Types of Cancer Caused by Asbestos?
Despite the many uses of asbestos, it is now considered as hazardous to public health. Studies have finally found out heavy and prolonged exposure to asbestos causes several serious illnesses to people.
Mesothelioma. This is a rare type of cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Even though the incidence rate has decreased in recent years, about 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed every year in the US.
There are three types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs and considered as the most common. Peritoneal and pericardial esothelioma affect the membrane that surrounds the abdominal cavity and the heart, respectively.
The prognosis is poor because condition is often diagnosed in the advanced stages; mainly because symptoms are typically late to appear. There is no cure but different treatment options are available.
Lung Cancer. This disease is not directly linked to asbestos exposure; but the risk gets higher when combined with smoking.
Laryngeal Cancer. There is some evidence that links asbestos as cause of cancer of the larynx (or voice box).
Kidney Cancer. Many studies have shown that asbestos may also cause this type of cancer.
Other cancerous illnesses include: colon, intestinal, esophageal, and gallbladder.
Who is at Risk for Asbestos-Related Cancer?
People who are exposed to asbestos are holding high-risk occupations like: construction and demolition, shipbuilding and shipyard work, drywall removal and installation, auto brake repair, firefighting, and fireproofing.
Asbestos is not harmful when still whole and intact. When disturbed and damaged, it releases microscopic fibers into air. When inhaled or ingested by humans, these fibers get lodged in the tissues and cause inflammation that can lead to malignant tumor.