Asbestos Definition and How It Affects Your Life Entirely

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Asbestos Definition, | Asbestos has been the talk globally due to its role on our daily life and how it actually puts so much more effect on our health. Several cases of cancer including mesothelioma has been closely related to this substance, and it has grown more serious by day. What is asbestos definition and how big is the impact to us? Let’s dig out more on what is asbestos.

Asbestos Definition: Medical

Image Asbestos Definition Medical

Asbestos is closely related to medical field as it makes one of the most affecting causes on several serious health problems today. So yes, there is an asbestos definition in medical field. According to asbestos definition medical, asbestos is the substance that includes several minerals at once and it can cause cancer.

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Asbestos Definition: Science

Image Asbestos Definition Science

It is actually science that first found asbestos and found it useful for several fields especially construction. So yes, there is an asbestos definition too in science field. According to asbestos definition science and research science findings, asbestos is a group of mineral that mostly consists of oxygen and silicon, and it can be pulled off in a form of consistency that is more of fluffy than anything else. So, what is asbestos made from? This asbestos definition environmental science should answer it.

Asbestos Defintion: Biology

Image Asbestos Defintion Biology

In biology, there is more explanation on the asbestos definition. Asbestos is a group of mineral that has strong properties as it doesn’t conduct electricity, and it is resistant to heat or chemicals exposure. The fiber of asbestos is explained to be possible to be inhaled by human, and this is the core cause of problems. Asbestos definition biology here explains more about the natural characters of asbestos.

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Is There Any Other Asbestos Definition?

Image Is There Any Other Asbestos Definition

Actually, the entire definitions should base on the same silver lining. When you search for asbestos definition APES, you will find many flashcards hinting about asbestos and the characters. The same thing should happen when you search for asbestos definition quizlet. It may further inform you on lawsuits, the emergency responds on cases, and more related issues.

Many people search for asbestos definition in Spanish, asbestos definition in Hindi, asbestos definition osha, asbestos definition and pronunciation, and more. It shows how asbestos issues have spread so wide and it catches so many people interest.

If we talk about asbestos definition Wikipedia, it should be the same as asbestos definition in English. asbestos is referred as a term to address six silicate minerals that naturally occur. All of those minerals are made of fibrous crystals in thin and long shape. With certain processes and abrasion, the crystal fiber, which is composed of fibrils in microscopic sizes, will be released in air.

So what exactly is asbestos? The basic definitions all refer to the same thing and same explanation with no curly wurly meaning on it. The issues related to this substance can be explained more as the products are used on daily life. Even if you look for asbestos synonym, you’ll find several words explaining asbestos, including the natural character and the dangers.

You can try to find the other meaning or definition of asbestos, like how you search for nesquik meaning or dittos definition, but it will result on the same explanation. While you search for acid precipitation definition using quizlet, you will find many cards containing information on asbestos too.

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Where Asbestos Comes From

Image Where Asbestos Comes From

Of course, asbestos definition doesn’t really explain where actually asbestos comes from. While it is a group of mineral, it doesn’t mean that asbestos doesn’t really exist before some process. Actually, asbestos already exists even before any manufacturer process anything. In short, asbestos is already there all along.

There are many asbestos natural deposits that can be found around the world. The first mining activity of asbestos was in North America. Now, there are more other places that offer possibility for asbestos mining.

Before it is transformed into products, natural asbestos needs to be processed. To make raw asbestos, we need to crush the ore. It should separate the other minerals it contains. The manufacturer needs to further process it until the texture is transformed into wooly and soft consistency.

When this texture is reached, it becomes raw material that can be made into rope, cloth, and paper. The fibers are then used to make adhesive, sealants, paints, plastics, drywall compounds, and cements.

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Asbestos Types

Image Asbestos Types

From the asbestos definition above, we should know now that asbestos refers to multiple minerals at once. Actually, asbestos refers to several silicate minerals, and all of them are fibrous in nature. US Government so far recognizes six asbestos types, asbestos miracle fiber. They are grouped into two different categories. These categories are mentioned clearly in Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986.

According to the information released by US Environmental Protection Agency, the categories include:

  • Amphibole Asbestos

This category should include actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, amosite, crocidolite or white asbestos. These asbestos have fiber that looks more like needle. Many scientists believe that this category is far more dangerous because it is rarely exposed while it leads to mesothelioma.

  • Serpentine Asbestos

This category includes chrysotile. Even though it includes only one kind of asbestos in it, it makes 95% of the total asbestos used so far. This is one of the reasons there is asbestos in homes. This category is also known for its curly fibers.

Since AHERA, there are attempts on asbestos regulation in which several people want to add some more minerals in the list. According to many scientific researches, those six asbestiform aren’t all. Richterite and winchite are brought to Congress back in 2008 for legislation introduction. It doesn’t matter anymore how to pronounce asbestos or which category is more dangerous. The entire attempts were failed though, due to unbeatable force based on business interest.

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Asbestos Exposure Risks and Facts

Image Asbestos Exposure Risks and Facts

It will be easier if there is a certain limitation on the amount of asbestos exposure if possible. Sadly, there is nothing like that.

The fact is that people are mostly at risks on serious diseases after being exposed to asbestos over time. On other cases, people experience the same fate as they are exposed to intense concentration of asbestos.

People who work in an environment with asbestos exposure will tend to get more and more inhaled. It means there is more asbestos accumulates inside the body. The bad news is there is no way known so far that can reverse this. There is nothing we can do to make the opposite of asbestos exposure effect.

Based on the medical records and research so far, the majority of asbestos related diseases patients are older man. They are at least 60 years or older. The explanation has been briefly mentioned before.

All of the diseases latency periods are known to be long. It takes decades before we can run some tests and find definite result or strong prognosis. Progression of asbestosis, for example, can be fast and clearly seen on later stages, but it is almost unseen during the early development.

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Asbestos at Homes

Image Asbestos at Homes

When we read on asbestos definition, we don’t suspect it to be available at homes, right? The fact is it exists at home too.

Asbestos materials have been used to build homes in US. They are different kind of asbestos but it still contains the substance. The house is mainly built of asbestos materials including on fireplaces, flooring, insulation, and roofing. There are more areas too, but those contain the most asbestos so far.

We don’t need to worry so much when these areas are well insulated. As long as the asbestos materials remain undisturbed, the possibility for the microscopic fiber to be airborne and inhaled is small.

For the same reason, many people who prefer to DIY home renovation will find remodeling as challenging. According to experts, asbestos testing should be conducted for family safety. American Lung Association recommends home owner to call pros for taking samples for testing. It limits unnecessary asbestos exposure which is dangerous for the entire family.

The other challenge in case of remodeling is the asbestos removal costs. The minimum fee should reach $1,000 or commonly $3,000. While total removal including all parts and areas of the house can reach huge number like $20,000, or for older or bigger house, $30,000.

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Where Else Can We Find Asbestos Around Us?

Image Where Else Can We Find Asbestos Around Us

Before we explore on more things that contain asbestos, let’s list out the most basic areas in the house that potentially contain asbestos. Asbestos is one of the main materials used to manufacture parts of the following areas:

  • Spray on insulation
  • Textured paint
  • Floor tiles and ceiling
  • Steam pipes
  • Shingles of roof
  • Cement

With the regulation is on, these should exist on houses that are built around 80s. Now, things are much better, but the risk is still there.

Beside parts of the house, asbestos can be found elsewhere too, for example in makeup. In 2017, there is a serious case in which asbestos was found on children cosmetics product. Shocking, yes. Claire’s and Justice retailers need to recall all of the products, but it has become serious concern. The asbestos was found on everyday use products like talcum powder.

The more serious concern is that talc is often added on so many other makeup products to create silky and soft texture. It actually works as filler while it dilutes the entire pigmented elements of makeup products. So when someone asks what is asbestos in makeup means, it means this. Be really careful while selecting creams, foundations, blushes, eye shadows, finishing powders, and powder compacts.

So what all contains asbestos? It can be a lot of things as asbestos plays huge role on so many products we use every day.

Occupations Closely Related to Asbestos

Image Occupations Closely Related to Asbestos

According to the Agency of Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, there are at least 27 million workers that have been exposed to asbestos. This number should refer to those who work within 1940 to 1979. With new regulations are rising, the number starts to decrease. However, several occupations are still on high risk of this exposure.

Several key fields that are known to be at high risk of asbestos exposure should include shipbuilding, mining, military service, heavy industry, firefighting, electricity generation, and construction. Let’s break down more on each field, and how asbestos is exposed during work.

  • Teachers

When building materials in the classroom or school building are damaged, worn, or disturbed, the teachers will be exposed. Teaching art using asbestos contained material will result on the same way too.

  • Boilermakers

Boilermakers and brickmasons have the same risk. They are openly exposed to several things including asbestos cement, refractory mortars, and insulation used to insulate associated piping, furnaces, and boilers, rope, gaskets, and more.

  • Railroad workers

During the process, asbestos is widely used in brake linings, insulation, and even more areas too.

  • Pipefitters and plumbers

They work with the insulation right on the pipes they attempt to set or repair, and they work with asbestos packing and gaskets.

  • Miners

Definitely, asbestos is the main contaminant in a mine.

  • Shipbuilders and longshoreman

When they unload any cargo containing asbestos, which is very frequent, they are exposed. Vessel construction and repairing process are also when shipyard workers are exposed to asbestos.

  • Insulators

Asbestos cement, asbestos block insulation, and asbestos pipe covering often need to be removes. This is when these insulators are exposed.

  • Firefighters

They wear asbestos suit to protect them from possible injury. Meanwhile, they are exposed to asbestos when fighting fire at old buildings.

  • Electricians

They most often work around the fireproofing and joint compounds. This place is surrounded by asbestos.

  • Drywall installers

Asbestos is needed to smoothen and cover the between sheets taping seams. They are exposed while working on the area.

  • Construction workers

Many building and fireproofing materials are made of asbestos as well. When they work on it, they are exposed.

  • Auto mechanics

Clutches, gaskets, and brake linings use asbestos.

Of course there are more infected possible occupations, like those who work around asbestos iron rest, but these professions suffer the most.

Reasons Why Asbestos is Dangerous

Image Reasons Why Asbestos is Dangerous

When we read on asbestos definition, we don’t see any hint on asbestos dangers. How dangerous is asbestos really? We need more scientific explanation to answer this question.

As mentioned above, asbestos consists of microscopic fiber. These fibers can be airborne overtime, and then, the asbestos fibers are inhaled quizlet, potentially. Due to the shape of the fiber, the particles will likely cling to lungs tissue. It can potentially cling to other part of the respiratory system as well.

Our immune system is possibly unable to break it down or to remove them as it is too durable. But then, these particles cause serious inflammation as well as scarring. Overtime, this case develops into tumor. This is what we call asbestos poisoning, and this is where all asbestos diseases started.

So, why asbestos is harmful to health? It is because it is small and durable enough to stay at organ tissue, especially in respiratory system, and it causes serious diseases.

Diseases Related to Asbestos

Image Diseases Related to Asbestos

So asbestos exposure really leads to a bad way. It takes decades, from ten to fifty years, before the exposure shows a hint of serious illnesses. We can try to check on it earlier, but mostly the result shows nothing. If not, the prognosis is commonly poor. So, hoping to catch some asbestos symptoms earlier is almost impossible.

There are at least three diseases that are the most common asbestos diseases. It includes:

  • Asbestosis

This disease happens in the respiratory system, in which the condition is degenerate. Degenerate definition here refers to a worse condition that makes the system doesn’t work as it is supposed to. There are scar tissue plaques and it commonly happens in pleura lung tissue surface. Most probably, it will be the mesotheliom onset precursor.

  • Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a an aggressive cancer. The cancer attacks on the organ tissue. Specifically, our vital organs on the abdomen and chest are protected by a thin membrane. This cancer attacks the membrane. The only possible cause of this cancer is just exposure to asbestos. So if you are wondering is mesothelioma real, you have the answer now.

  • Lung Cancer

The causes of lung cancer can be three problems possibly. The most often cause should be smoking habits and radon. The definition of radon here refers to air surrounding each of us, but the real radon definition on this case is much further. However according to scientific research, 3-4% cases of lung cancer are caused by asbestos exposure.

In addition to those, we should also add several diseases on the list, like COPD, diffuse pleural thickening, pleuritis, pleural plaques, and pleural effusions.

According to the information delivered by EPA, there is no complete asbestos ban in US. Meanwhile, it maybe exists in several areas like household items, homes, and old buildings. If asbestos diseases meaning and asbestos exposure meaning has any effect at all, it seems like the government doesn’t really responds to that as expected.

What is Asbestosis

Image What is Asbestosis

Asbestosis definition can be a long one. It refers to the process in which there is scarring in lung tissue. Scarring on lung tissue can be caused by other things too like smoking habit. To make sure the scarring is really caused by asbestos, someone needs to take some tests. Biopsy results or X-ray findings are appropriate tests to go through.

Asbestosis meaning explains how asbestos can create extensive damage to your organ and how it causes even more serious health problems. At least you can get lung disease if not tumor that leads to mesothelioma.

Symptoms and Signs of Asbestosis

Image Symptoms and Signs of Asbestosis

When someone suffers from asbestosis, he or she will show several clinical symptoms. The symptoms should include:

  • Cough and shortness of breath. This is commonly progressing and getting worse overtime. On several people, it happens after decades from the exposure.
  • After suffering from shortness of breath, thing gets even more advanced. It still happens even if the patient stops inhaling asbestos at work or home anymore.
  • Wheezing and production of sputum. Sputum is mucus that is coughed out right from the lung. This condition is rare on pure asbestos exposure background, but common for those with smoking habits. Especially for workers who work around high concentration of asbestos, this condition is potentially happen.
  • Abnormal sound of lung during examination.
  • Toes and fingers end changes, or so called clubbing.
  • Lips or fingers tinge changes to blue.
  • Heart failure on the right side.

Just as in asbestos definition, asbestosis also carries with it a long explanation with only bad news to know.

Treatment for Asbestosis

Image Treatment for Asbestosis

Just as what happens to other patients with lung disease in cronic stage, people with asbestosis have higher risk of getting infected. They are also at risk for other problems including heart failure, and oxygen levels at the heart gets low.

When they get infected by bacterial or viral, they can’t recover very soon. Furthermore, their risk on getting unusual infection taking advantage of the scarring lung tissue gets even higher. Commonly, these patients will need to follow on treatment programs that focus more on preventing these possible infections.

The bad news is there is no cure to asbestosis that has been found and proven so far. There are immune based and steroid therapies that are often suggested to patients. However, these therapies don’t show enough help to the condition either. Meanwhile, pneumococcal and flu vaccination are something regular and routine in the treatment program.

Once someone gets the asbestos sentence and is diagnosed with asbestosis, the treatment program commonly includes smoking cessation. In addition to it, the treatment will also include early detection on cancer or disease that gets worse, and necessary steps to avoid further expose on asbestos. On several patients additional oxygen through supplements are maybe needed, both for during exercise and at general rest. It improves their daily life function.

Asbestos and Contact with Skin

Image Asbestos and Contact with Skin

Knowing all the risks and all the asbestos examples above, as well as asbestos definition, we may think we know better not to touch asbestos. The fact is we don’t realize it most of the times when we touch it. Are you wondering what does asbestos do to your skin?

It happens all the time when building occupants or workers touch the areas where asbestos has been settled for a while or literally the asbestos physically. When it happens, asbestos microscopic fiber will logged into your skin. Then, you will start getting skin irritation as a result. Even worse, it can possibly disloged into your skin and it is highly possibly that you put other people in the building into exposure risk as well.

When you get into this situation, your skin will show several reactions. These are they symptoms:

  • Rashes and redness
  • Tingling or prickling pain
  • Itching sensation
  • Burning

What to do then when you get contact with asbestos on your skin? How to treat asbestos on skin? When it happens, you need to wash down the area with lukewarm water thoroughly. Make sure the water is flowing for best cleaning. Use soap while washing, preferably the non abrasive one, for around 5 minutes before rinsing. When they symptoms don’t go away, see your doctor immediately.

What to Do if Asbestos is Disturbed?

Image What to Do if Asbestos is Disturbed

Knowing better on asbestos and asbestos definition, we sure will make careful steps anywhere now. However, what exactly we need to do if accident happens and asbestos is disturbed? Do the following steps.

  1. Stop Working

If you aren’t licensed to work specially with asbestos, and you think the accident that just happened disturbed the asbestos, stop working. You don’t need to do anything more because your action can possibly expose more of the asbestos. It is best to stop whatever you are doing to prevent something worse to happen.

  1. Evacuate Immediately

Asbestos fiber gets into our body by being airborne first. If asbestos on your area is disturbed, there is high possibility that the fiber is airborne now. The best solution is to evacuate from the building immediately. If you get the dust on your outfit, just stay put. Put on the RPE so you don’t inhale the fiber.

  1. Access Prevention

It is important to prevent other people from accessing the area. It will prevent them from getting exposed. You can close every access into the area and seal it with sign, such as one saying “possible asbestos contamination” for best warning. Make sure the sign is well displayed so people don’t miss it in any way.

  1. Spreading Prevention

Preventing any spreading should start with you. Wipe yourself and your cloth with damp cloth to prevent the fiber from being airborne. You can dispose the clothes or delivering it to specialty laundry. When you come out clean, no one near you will get exposed to the fiber. It is already an effective prevention of spreading.

  1. Find Help from Specialist or Pros

Asbestos should be handled by professionals with special certification and license. Therefore, you should immediately contact the contractor and asbestos specialists. They will further take samples for testing and making necessary actions to handle and control it.

Do’s and Don’ts with Asbestos

Image Do's and Don'ts with Asbestos

Knowing asbestos definition and all the details in it, you should probably start to worry now, especially if you have an older house. You must be afraid of disturbing asbestos and put people in the house in high risk of getting contaminated. Call professionals. Meanwhile, try your best to do and not to do the following things.

  • Do’s:
  1. Contact the appropriate regulatory authorities or agency on your local government or state if you plan for demolition.
  2. If you want asbestos removal, repairing, testing, or inspections, call the pros.
  3. Get a contact with your real estate agent or contractor if you home has any possible risk of asbestos.
  4. Do any possible and appropriate precaution so you don’t damage or disturbed any materials.
  5. Avoid any possible contact with asbestos.
  • Don’ts:
    1. Dispose any asbestos waste along with regular household waste.
    2. Don’t remove any of the asbestos by yourself.
    3. If you aren’t certified or specially trained, don’t work with asbestos.
    4. If there is any debris that may contain asbestos, don’t vacuum or sweep it.
    5. If there is material that may contain asbestos, don’t disturb it.

So knowing asbestos definition and all possible risks aren’t enough. This do’s and don’ts should help you to be more careful, preventing worse situation and possibly health risks.

Alternatives for Asbestos

Image Alternatives for Asbestos

When we learn about asbestos definition above, we understand that asbestos was widely used in almost everything. Since 1980, US manufacturers started to reduce the use of asbestos largely. Just as non friable asbestos and asbestos floor tiles low risk, there are more alternative to asbestos we can use.

  • Cellulose Fiber

It makes perfect replacement for asbestos cement. It is effective for siding, roofing, and high temperature insulation. Typically, this fiber is made of shredded paper, linen, wood pulp, and cotton.

  • Thermoset Plastic Flour

It works best to replace asbestos as filler for adhesive as well as moldable plastics. It is actually a mix of binders and wood fibers.

  • Amorphous Silica Fabric

The fiber of this fabric is heat resistant and it is fireproof. It makes best replacement of asbestos for industries.

  • Polyurethane Foam

This is the popular replacement for insulation. It is safer and cheaper, and it doesn’t put workers at risk. It needs only to be sprayed for insulation while it is also used for furniture, automotive parts, as well as buildings.

Understanding asbestos definition is fine, but we need to know more on the risks asbestos brings, how to handle it, and what can we use to replace it. Now we know how to prevent ourselves from possible risks and how to prevent asbestos from harming our life.

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