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The Importance Of Avoiding Exposure To Asbestos

Danger Asbestos HazardThe word “asbestos” has become well-known for its negative connotations. At one time in our history, it was highly regarded as a valuable material used for insulation in the construction of homes and office buildings. However, today we have become all too-well aware of the hazardous effects that it can have on our health. When asbestos fibres become airborne, they can become trapped in our lungs.

Asbestos is now known as a cancer-causing agent that should be avoided at all costs. As explained by the National Cancer Institute, “when asbestos fibres are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibres can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems.” Not the least of these health problems is mesothelioma.

This disease, says the NCI, “is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure.” They go on to note that studies also suggest that gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as throat, kidney, esophagus and gallbladder cancer are all possible ramifications of asbestos exposure. Sadly, there are numerous others symptoms that indicate that you may be affected by asbestos.

According to Asbestos.com, swelling in the neck or face, difficulty swallowing, high blood pressure, crackling sounds when breathing, shortness of breath, hyper tension, weight loss and even finger deformity are all symptoms associated with asbestos exposure. The site points out that sufferers of mesothelioma are at risk of experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms. There is also a risk of asbestosis if exposed to asbestos.

“Lung scarring, or fibrosis, is the direct cause for the coughing and shortness of breath symptoms most commonly associated with asbestosis,” informs Asbestos.com, “As the lungs become scarred and inflamed over time, their ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide decreases, resulting in a reduction of lung function and subsequent fatigue in patients. In the later stages of asbestosis, the amount of stress placed on the lungs and heart from the lack of proper oxygen can lead to serious lung and/or heart failure.”

Firstly, it’s important to determine whether or not your home includes asbestos as its insulation materials. If it was constructed prior to the 1990s, it’s certainly worth looking into. This is especially true if you plan on renovating. Any disturbance of asbestos fibres may cause them to become airborne. Again, you want to avoid breathing in asbestos fibres as much as humanly possible.

Secondly, it’s important to determine if your workplace includes asbestos in its construction. “Workers who are concerned about asbestos exposure in the workplace should discuss the situation with other employees, their employee health and safety representative, and their employers,” advises the NCI. You should also look into moving your work location if any renovations are being done in your building.

Thirdly, it would be wise to conduct an inspection of your home or office. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that test heating duct-work and furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics and cinder walls, ceilings and flooring for asbestos. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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