Everyone knows that asbestos is dangerous for your health. There are few minerals in the world that have been so thoroughly demonized. But even with all the negative press and the known risks, asbestos is still being used today. Some people will be surprised to learn that asbestos has never been banned, it is only the application of it that has been limited. But Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has some unique properties. Properties that are so useful, that there has been a lot of resistance to phasing it out entirely.
- Where Does Asbestos Come From? Asbestos is a natural mineral which is mined in many parts of the world. Most of it now comes from Russia. But China, India, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and others still have mines in operation. Many countries have banned the import of Asbestos, but there is still a market and millions of metric tons are mined every year. For the most part there is only one type of asbestos that is still being used, chrysotile, or white asbestos. There is some evidence that this form of asbestos can be broken down by the body and so it is not as dangerous as the other types. All other forms are now considered a hazardous substance.
- What is the Danger of Asbestos? The main risk of exposure to asbestos is Asbestosis, which is the long-term scarring and inflammation of the lungs. But this also leads to mesothelioma, which is a form of lung cancer. There are several other cancers connected to asbestos, larynx, gastrointestinal, and ovarian cancer are three of them. Asbestos is dangerous when it is inhaled, but it also causes trouble when ingested. It is not toxic through contact with your skin, however. It is mainly dangerous as an airborne particle.
- Where is Asbestos Found? These days there is not much asbestos around anymore. Some houses may still have asbestos insulation, in their attics or around their pipes. If you do suspect your house has asbestos insulation you should contact asbestos roof removal in Perth, to learn what your options are for its removal. Other than that asbestos is usually found as a specialty material for heavy industry. It is still used in some brake pads, and it is often used in the construction of cement fibre boards. However, modern materials are quickly making asbestos a remnant of the past, and something that is best left in the ground.
The main reason asbestos is still being used is because it is plentiful, inexpensive, and it has some very useful properties. However, the push to keep using chrysotile is coming mainly from the countries that mine and export the product.