How dangerous is asbestos?
Asbestos has long been used as a popular building material before people started discovering how dangerous is asbestos. Known for its many beneficial properties, asbestos could be found in many early houses and buildings built prior to 1990 when strict guidelines and laws on asbestos took effect.
Queensland regulations particularly the Workplace Health and Safety Act and Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2008 makes it mandatory for homes built before 1990 to undergo strict inspection and certification.
How Dangerous is Asbestos?
The main danger associated with exposure to asbestos is the lungs coming in direct contact with its fibers. This could have long terms negative effects on a person’s respiratory health and increases his risk for lung diseases and cancer.
Malignant mesothelioma is a disease that involves the development of cancer of the outer covering of the lung. This caused by the introduction of asbestos fibers into the lungs causing damage to mesothelial cells that make up the sensitive lung covering or pleura. One major concern is that people who have developed this disease undergo a latency period between 35 and 40 years, making it very difficult to detect the disease prior to the onset of the signs and symptoms of illness.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of mesothelioma. This is why the government and health organizations have made it a priority to inform the population about how dangerous is asbestos and its effects on health. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk for lung cancer. Signs and symptoms of asbestos caused lung cancer often manifests after 20 to 30 years, often when the disease has already reached its final stages.
Another form of lung disease associated with exposure to asbestos is asbestosis. Otherwise known as lung fibrosis, it is the most common ailment suffered by direct exposure to asbestos. This is a debilitating disease that if left untreated leads to death. Asbestos fibers when inhaled enter the lungs damaging lung cells. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers leads to scarring reducing the effectiveness of the lungs.
Direct exposure to asbestos or inhalation of asbestos fibers poses a serious threat to one’s health. To understand how dangerous is asbestos, talk to your local health officer or inquire with professional roofing contractors in your area.