Asbestos: What is it and Why is it so Dangerous?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that man used for centuries, mainly for its unique fire-resistant properties and as we entered the Industrial Revolution, the demand for asbestos grew. There are six types of natural asbestos; the mineral takes on a flaky form and the tiny slivers become airborne and can easily be inhaled by a person. In the 1920s, many factory workers who handled asbestos were taken ill with respiratory diseases and the writing was on the wall.

Types of Asbestos

There are a total of 6 different forms of asbestos; crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, actinolite and chrysotile. The material has a long thin shape and when a sheet of compressed asbestos is cut or broken, this releases lots of tiny spores into the surrounding atmosphere and if these are inhaled, the thin, spiky slices of asbestos can become trapped in a person’s lungs. They may remain undetected for years before causing inflammation and cancerous growths, so it is very much a silent killer.

Construction Materials

The use of asbestos in the period up to 1970 was extensive, with sheets that were pressed using cement and asbestos, which added strength, durability and was fire-resistant. If you are planning to revamp your kitchen and you think that asbestos might be present, call in one of the asbestos removal contractors in Perth to test for the presence of this harmful substance. Should asbestos be present, the experts can locate and safely remove it, then you can get on with your kitchen renovation, safe in the knowledge that the material has been removed.

Kitchen Cladding

If your home was built pre-1970, there is a chance that asbestos was used in the making of fibre sheeting, especially walls near sources of heat such as stoves and fireplaces. If you are removing old materials from your kitchen and you are unsure about the presence of asbestos, it makes sense to call in the experts. They can carry out tests to determine the presence of the material and have the resources and know-how to safely remove any form of asbestos.

Asbestos-Related Diseases

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos and is also connected to ovarian and other forms of cancer. In the Victorian times, many asbestos workers fell ill to respiratory diseases as it became apparent that this substance was harmful. Russia was a major exporter of asbestos before the world woke up and banned its use. There are still some countries where asbestos is still used, and Australia has been at the forefront of asbestos removal and there is still a long way to go before all homes are free of asbestos.

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