What is Asbestos made of?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been used in a wide variety of building materials for a long time because of its natural resistance to sound, heat, electrical current, and its inherent strength.
Asbestos is a natural mineral and is mined from the ground, which is then crushed in large machines and sifted through until all other materials have been separated out from the pure asbestos fibers. These fibers are then used to make products such as insulation, wire coatings, and sprays.
What is Asbestos used for?
There are three types of asbestos, and all are used in different types of products and applications. Each one has been more heavily used in certain applications, as they all have different properties. Below are the main uses of each type of asbestos.
Chrysotile: Brake linings, pipe insulation, joint compound, asbestos sheeting
Amosite: Ceiling tiles, spray coatings, thermal insulation products
Crocidolite: Fire protection products, insulation, and electrical telecom wires.
How to tell if something is made of asbestos.
While each type of asbestos has different functions, each should be handled carefully and you should always consult a professional prior to handling it in any way. Asbestos is a very difficult material to properly identify. This is why it is always recommended to have a professional come in and take a sample of the product away for testing.
Removing a piece of the product yourself can lead to a number of health problems, as it will become airborne if handled improperly. It is standard practice to assume asbestos is in your home if it was erected prior to 1980, as it was a very common building material in many construction operations.
Health risks of asbestos?
There are three primary concerns that come from being near disturbed or broken asbestos products, Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, and Mesothelioma. These three are the most common diseases caused by asbestos and all of them come from exposure to asbestos that has been disturbed or inhaled over time.
The main fear with asbestos in the home is that these issues usually appear many years after you have come into contact with it, this is also why regular medical checkups are needed.