Why All The Fuss With Asbestos?


Why Is There So Much Concern With Asbestos? 

The primary concern with asbestos is the dangers it poses. Some of the risks that come to mind when asbestos is present could happen: 

  • Lung cancer

  • Mesothelioma – This is a cancer of the chest cavity lining. 

  • Asbestosis – A pulmonary obstructive disease forcing the lungs and the heart to work beyond their capacity, resulting in cardiac arrest. 

These very small asbestos fibers primarily enter the body by being breathed in by the individual. Only one incident of asbestos inhalation could trigger one of the diseases above. But the more frequent the exposure every day, the more is the risk of contracting these sicknesses. 

What’s sad and scary, these diseases don’t show up until 10 to 30 years after the first exposure. That is a long dormancy period before the symptoms ever show up. 

There are some misinterpretations about the extent of asbestos exposure

Firstly, it’s not limited to World War II when the ship workers were exposed to it. Secondly, the person doesn’t have to be in a polluted asbestos environment to be exposed and inflicted a sickness. And lastly, the United States has not banned it from all substances in the country. It might have been banned in up to 7 materials but it is still found in building materials being shipped into the United States at present. 

Asbestos is not always printed on the label. Furthermore, sometimes it is stated that the product is non-asbestos when it is not, or printed as asbestos-free when in fact, chrysotile (the most common asbestos) is listed as one of the ingredients.

When asbestos is mined or when it is processed with other building materials, there will always be a risk for possible exposure to the crew who have participated in the procedures. What’s worse is if the workers carry the asbestos fibers home on their shoes, clothes, or other work materials, they may also expose their families to danger. This scenario happened in Libby, Montana where there is asbestos mining (www.pbs.org/pov/libbymontana). 

What are the materials which could potentially contain asbestos? EPA or the Environment Protection Agency has listed materials that could potentially contain asbestos. Check on their website www.epa.gov. The list contains virtually everything except glass, metal, and wood. Asbestos is a very popular additive to thousands of materials because of its properties of fire resistance, strength, and chemical resistance. In addition, it has a relatively low cost.

Common Asbestos Containing Materials

  • Nearly all building materials

  • Brake linings

  • Concrete

  • Cement drinking water pipes

  • Gaskets

Asbestos is also used for fireproofing in the following: 

  • Schools 

  • Hospitals 

  • Airports 

  • Nursing homes 

Other public and private installations and facilities

The workers who do the installation, removal, and demolition work on the structures and are also in danger. It is for this very reason that EPA requires asbestos testing before renovations and demolitions will be conducted on buildings.

If you have a property that’s due for an asbestos survey, do you know that there’s a crew who has the credentials and the experience to professionally complete the process? 

Midwest Environmental Consulting Services (MEC) will do the job for you. We have accredited Asbestos Surveyors and a State Licensed Asbestos Consultants (LAC) among our competent staff. With over 25 years of experience in the asbestos industry, we will help develop an abatement plan that will safely remove the asbestos and keep your project on track!

We work on abatement specifications, check on abatement projects, and do compliance work with air quality for clients in the private or public sector. MEC offers limited and comprehensive sampling for minor and major renovations and demolitions. Our services include asbestos inspections, asbestos air testing, all the way through the completion of asbestos removal projects. 

For all your comprehensive asbestos compliance needs, contact our experts today and be conveniently serviced without a fuss and obtain an Asbestos-free environment.