Asbestos is a name that defines a group of minerals (silicate compounds) that appear naturally in the environment as fibers. In the past, asbestos was favored in building and construction work because of its fire retardant properties. Nowadays, buildings are rarely built with asbestos, but still, you can't ignore the fact that it could be present at the work site. So whether you are in charge of a demolition task or remodeling of an old building, you must take measures to ensure that asbestos is not present in the building. Here are two reasons why you should do so:
Your Workers Are At A risk Of Contracting Asbestosis
When asbestos fibers accumulate in the lungs, they may cause asbestosis. Asbestosis is a progressive lung disease that leads to scarring of the lung tissue. Consistent inhalation of asbestos fibers may lead to an aggravation of the disease, and sometimes death. The disease is also accompanied by devastating symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing. In addition, it can also result in other lung diseases like pleural plaques, which can increase the chances of getting lung cancer. Pleural plaque is a disease that forces changes in the membranes that surround the lungs.
Your Workers Are At Risk Of Contracting Mesothelioma
Another deadly disease linked with inhalation of asbestos fibers is mesothelioma. It is a type of cancer that develops when the defense mechanism of a human body attempts to get rid of the fibers. In the end, though, it fails, and the fibers attack the linings that cover the lungs. The fibers then irritate the mesothelial cells and induce generic mutations that grow into tumors over the course of time. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma can take between 20 and 50 years to show. But when the disease finally shows, the symptoms can be easily noted. They include consistent coughs, chest pains, and breathing problems.
What You Can Do About The Asbestos Situation
Surely, you can't let asbestos stop you from doing your work; not if there is something you can do about it. The first step in dealing with asbestos is employing environmental consultants to assess and determine the concentration of asbestos in the building you are working on. These experts conduct checks on the work site and collect samples of materials suspected to contain asbestos. These samples are then taken to laboratories for testing. Until you get the green light from the environmental consultants, do not start working on the area.
For more information, contact environmental consultants from a company like Geotech Testing Pty Ltd.