An Overview of Asbestos

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals. These minerals have fibrous crystals contain different ratios of oxygen and silicon. Asbestos minerals come from metamorphic rocks. The physical properties of asbestos make the fibrous bundles of these minerals useful in many commercial applications. These fibers are able to be woven into a fabric that is resistant to certain levels of heat and chemicals, and is flexible.

The unique physical properties of asbestos have allowed it to be used in many aspects of construction. Some places this mineral might be found include roofing and siding shingles, vinyl floor tiles, heat-resistant fabrics, attic and wall insulation, and textured paint. Many friction products such as automobile clutches and brakes have also used asbestos during the production. Serpentine and amphibole are two forms of asbestos. These two types can be broken down into other types of asbestos. Depending on the type of application, different forms of asbestos have been used in the building of schools, hospitals, homes and office buildings.

Humans can be adversely affected by asbestos. Lungs have a built-in defense system that is able to filter out most contaminants before air enters the lungs. However, asbestos particulates hang in the air for a long period of time. Their tiny fibers are able to penetrate the upper respiratory defense system to enter deeper into the lungs. This can cause many health problems for people. Some medical conditions and diseases associated with asbestos include mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening, and lung cancer.

Due to the long-term health effects of asbestos exposure, many laws have been passed in the last few decades regarding the use of asbestos. Not every place that has asbestos puts people at risk for health problems. However, the presence of asbestos should be checked out by a qualified surveyor who can determine whether the levels are significant enough to warrant further action.

Most building and home occupants are not aware that they are being exposed to asbestos. To have your building or home inspected, get in contact with a qualified surveyor. To learn more about surveyor services, please visit Doing so can help you avoid the pitfalls of asbestos exposure.