What is asbestos?

Introduction

Asbestos is among naturally occurring minerals composed of flexible fiber that are resistant. Until now, asbestos is still being used in building and construction. Asbestos use is permitted and allowed as long as its use is not more than 1%. Asbestos exposure may cause very serious diseases. Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally and it contains flexible and soft fibers. The fibers are known to be heat resistant and that is why they are commonly used in building and construction. They are also used in many insulation materials. The qualities of asbestos are what make that naturally occurring mineral useful. Although asbestos is useful, it can also be highly toxic.

Asbestos is known to have insulation qualities and that is why it is used in making cement, cloth, paper, plastic, and other materials. The use of asbestos has been reduced but there are areas especially the construction industry that still makes good use of asbestos. When the asbestos dusk is ingested or inhaled, the fibers can be trapped in your body for the rest of your life. It has been found that trapped asbestos can easily cause scarring, inflammation, and even genetic damage. It is because of the toxic nature of asbestos that its use is being limited these days.

What are some of the types of asbestos?

In 1986, there was an asbestos hazard emergency response act that identified six different types of asbestos. The six asbestos fall into two different categories. The first one is serpentine and the other one is amphibole.

Amphibole asbestos fibers have a jagged, straight shape. There are five recognized shapes in this type of asbestos. They include Actinolite, tremolite, amosite, crocidolite, and anthophyllite.

Serpentine asbestos is the second category of asbestos. These types of asbestos are known to be curly. There is one kind of this asbestos which is chrysolite. It is also known as white asbestos.

Where does asbestos come from?

Asbestos indeed comes from all over the world but there are main exporters of asbestos. The first exporter in China, the next Russia, and the third exporter is Kazakhstan. Asbestos is a mineral that was once mined throughout North America. Asbestos can be found and mined as large deposits or it can be found as a contaminant to other minerals. Common minerals that can be mined with asbestos as a contaminant include vermiculite and talc.

The most commercial asbestos deposit usually contains five to six percent of asbestos but some such as the Coalinga in California contain 50% and more asbestos.

Asbestos-related diseases

As we all know, asbestos is a very toxic substance that can cause serious diseases. According to many scientific studies, it has been found that asbestos exposure can easily lead to lung diseases. Some of the diseases associated with asbestos include asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleuritis, COPD, pleural effusions among other diseases. After you have inhaled asbestosis, it can take several years or even decades to start feeling the effects. To avoid asbestos diseases, get an asbestos testing done on your home.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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