Surely we have heard of the term asbestos because it is a highly dangerous material because of its carcinogenic nature. Asbestos consists of a group of minerals of natural origin that are used in various products intended as building materials and brakes of an automobile, whose purpose is to take advantage of its properties and to resist the heat and the corrosion.
This material includes chrysotile, amosite, tremolite asbestos, crocidolite, anthophyte asbestos, including any of these materials that have previously received any chemical treatment or modification.
The risk of working with asbestos lies in the inhalation of fibres from this material by workers, which can ultimately lead to serious illnesses mainly in the lungs and other organs, such diseases do not manifest immediately but may appear after years of occurrence The exhibition.
It is known that asbestosis is manifested in the generation of an accumulation of scar tissue in the lungs, which causes loss of lung function, manifested in an inability to breathe, eventually causing death. The asbestos fibres that cause this disease are microscopic to be detected with the naked eye, being the smokers who are the greater risk to develop diseases caused by the asbestos.
Exposure to asbestos usually occurs in industrial workers during the manufacture of products in the composition of asbestos or during the review of brakes and clutches. While in the construction industry, the risk of exposure occurs while moving materials containing this material during the maintenance of civil works or demolition of buildings or buildings.
On the other hand, they also suffer the risk of exposure to workers in marine environments while performing the maintenance or dismantling of ships built with these hazardous materials. In other words, simple contact with deteriorated materials containing asbestos implies a risk of exposure.
According to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standard, workers’ exposure to asbestos should not exceed 0.1 fibre per cubic centimetre (airframe), averaged over an eight-hour shift, while exposure to Short term should not exceed 1 f / cc averaged over a period of 30 minutes. The protocol prohibits the rotation of workers in order to meet the requirements of the permissible limits of exposure to this material.
Therefore, the methods must be implemented to ensure that exposures to these materials do not exceed permissible exposure limits, using engineering controls and good manufacturing practices. When these techniques are not sufficient, workers’ exposures should be reduced At much lower levels, providing respiratory protective devices that meet the requirements of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which help meet the permissible exposure limits already established.
Safety measures for asbestos removal
Some other precautions to take into account is to spray asbestos-containing material with water to prevent the fibres from flying with air. It is even more convenient if the water is combined with a low-sudsing detergent and while this type of Materials it is easier to do it in whole pieces since the small parts have a greater possibility of releasing asbestos fibres.
Also when working with materials known to contain asbestos, protective clothing such as overalls or rompers, special caps, gloves and appropriate footwear should be required. If asbestos concentrations are known to exceed permissible limits in the air, workers should wear obligatory face shields, goggles or other protective equipment to prevent eye irritation.
It should not be forgotten that when the asbestos fibres are inhaled, some of them will be deposited in the airways and in the cells that make up the respiratory organs such as the lungs. Following their cycle most of these fibres deposited in the lungs are removed after a few hours, being transported or expelled through a layer of mucus towards the throat, where they are finally swallowed and redirected towards the stomach. Fibers deposited in the deeper areas of the lung are removed more slowly, but some can travel through the lung for years, remaining there for all that time, giving the possibility of never being removed from the body.
By the nature of asbestos, also there is a difference in the ease of being removed. For example, the amphibole asbestos fibres remain in the lung much longer than the chrysotile asbestos fibres. If you get asbestos fibres, almost all of that material passes through the digestive system in a few days, eventually excreting in the faeces. However, not all the material is expelled since it is likely that a small number of fibres will penetrate the cells that line the stomach or intestines and even completely penetrate through the blood. Some of these can become trapped in other tissues, and some others become expelled in the urine.
The government of Australia has released a total ban on asbestos use since 2003. Since many old buildings across the nation still being contaminated by this deadly material, any work that may disturb the asbestos presence should be left to a licensed expert. The project includes an asbestos inspection, asbestos testing, asbestos removal, and other projects that require safe handling.
Asbestos is dangerous to handle by yourself. If you believe that this cancerous material contaminates your home, you should communicate your problem with an accredited expert in the field.