General Use And Health Risk Of Chrysotile Asbestos
Asbestos is a group of six different mineral fibers that are now banned for commercial use. These fibers are divided into serpentine or amphibole types.
As such, only chrysotile asbestos falls in the serpentine groups of fibers. These fibers have unique curly shapes, and comprise mainly of crystal sheets.
Asbestos fibers are known to cause a number of diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. It can also increase risk of other malignancies and health disorders; however, most of these occur long after exposure.
Considering that chrysotile asbestos is the most common type used commercially, we should learn more about its use and potential health risk. This will help us in preventing exposure and taking the right steps to reduce potential risk.
Use of chrysotile asbestos
Chrysotile fibers are comparatively finer than those of amphiboles. They are also more flexible and resistant to heat. As the most common asbestos fiber, 90% to 95% of asbestos used in USA is of this type.
From shipping industry to construction products, chrysotile asbestos has been widely used in commercial applications. Here’s a list of common asbestos-containing products.
Tiles – Ceiling, flooring and roofing tiles. Adhesives used for laying down flooring tiles.
Cement – Asbestos-containing cement was used in several building materials.
Automotive parts – Clutches, brake pads, gaskets, valves and hood liners.
Textile – Asbestos was used in manufacturing garments and clothes, resistant to heat and corrosive materials. This included blankets, ropes and firearm suits.
Public and occupational health risk
According to World Health Organization (WHO), the scientific consensus is clear about asbestos. It causes cancer and chronic respiratory illnesses in humans. Considering that cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, prevention will help reduce the burden and associated healthcare costs.
Commonly referred to as ‘white asbestos’, exposure to chrysotile asbestos has been known to cause serious health conditions. Chrysotile asbestos itself can cause cancer in lungs, larynx and ovary, asbestosis and mesothelioma (a rare cancer otherwise).
While asbestos related products have been banned in several countries, some lobbyists insist that chrysotile is less harmful than others. However, this only means that it will require greater exposure to cause diseases. Considering the wide use of these fibers, it is equally harmful for human health.
Furthermore, even after appropriate regulations, asbestos-containing building products can easily become damaged at any point in time.
This will result in release of fibers and expose people in the vicinity to this harmful mineral.
While not used in residential buildings today, asbestos was widely used a few decades ago. The buildings are still there and must be inspected for presence of asbestos. Considering that natural or human enfaced event can result in damage, it is better to be prepared.
Call our asbestos testing company today to find out if you’re at risk of exposure. Our asbestos remediation services in Pennsylvania will address the issue, and make necessary repairs and replacements.