What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is no longer used in buildings to provide insulation and fire proof features, despite it being used for over 100 years in the construction industry. It was known for its flexibility, durability, and resistance to chemicals, heat and electricity. There are 6 ytpes of asbestos.
Asbestos is harmless, if it is left undisturbed. However, if it is even scratched in the slightest, its fibers will be released into the air, thus posing a danger. Also, asbestos tends to deteriorate with time. Meaning the longer it has been in your home, the higher the chances of it posing a health risk.
When inhaled, asbestos affects the respiratory system, causing a number of illnesses. Some of them include lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. The effects you will experience vary according to a number of factors such as duration of exposure, type of asbestos, and size of fiber. Most people who have been affected by asbestos were exposed to it for long periods of time at some point in their lives. The effects are often experienced several years later. If you suspect that you may have been extensively exposed to asbestos, it would help you begun to be on the lookout for symptoms such as chronic cough, chest pains, wheezing and general fatigue.
You are at a greater risk if your job involves you coming into contact with or being exposed to asbestos regularly. Jobs that could expose you to asbestos include firefighting, asbestos mining and plumbing.
There are small traces of asbestos in the air, water and soil around us. The good thing is that the quantity and concentration is so low that it does not pose a health risk.
Because of its nature, asbestos should only be removed by a licensed and skilled professional. Although there are some circumstances where you can remove the asbestos yourself, it is not recommended. If you do choose to remove it yourself you should wear protective gear including a mask, seal off the area, and dispose of the asbestos correctly. The better alternative would be to call an asbestos disposal company who will use specialized equipment suitable for asbestos removal.
Most areas have regulations on how bio wastes should be dispose of. Because it would be considered environmental pollution, you are not supposed to dispose asbestos just anywhere. If you removed the asbestos yourself, it is advised that you enlist the services of an asbestos removal company as they would know where to dispose it.
You also have the option of driving around to look for a biohazard dump site. Whichever option you choose you should make sure that the asbestos was stored in a sealable airtight plastic bag. This will help prevent it from becoming airborne.
If it will take a couple of days before you can dispose of the waste properly make sure you store the bags in a safe area, and label them as ‘hazardous’. This way, anyone who may come across them will know that they are dangerous.