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The ABCs of asbestos

Many people are aware that asbestos is dangerous, but they may not understand how far-reaching the consequences of this mineral's use may be.

To reduce the damages it causes, it is critical that people fully understand asbestos. 

Asbestos is linked to fatal diseases

Before the 1960s, it was common for construction companies to use materials with high levels of asbestos in them because the mineral does not easily catch fire. However, researchers have now linked asbestos to several deadly diseases, including the following:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer

Banning asbestos use does not eliminate exposure

After the discovery of the serious dangers of the mineral's fibers in a person's lungs, the government banned the use of materials containing asbestos. However, there are those structures and materials that still contain the substance. There are controls in place to reduce exposure in these instances, such as protective gear to prevent inhaling the fibers.

People may encounter asbestos in a few different ways. There is a high possibility of exposure construction workers face as they dismantle buildings containing asbestos, and mechanics and other workers may also come into contact with objects containing asbestos, such as old brakes or pipes. Also, people who live in older homes or work in old buildings may encounter the mineral. Firefighters are also at high risk due to the release of asbestos fibers in burning buildings.

Current laws and regulations create safety controls

There are both local and federal laws to be aware of. Those businesses and parties that use materials containing asbestos must abide by the stipulations outlined in the asbestos accreditation requirements as well. Lawmakers put these laws and regulations in place to protect people against extensive exposure in hopes to limit the number of people who experience the harmful effects of asbestos. As new developments surface, the laws may change over time, so it is vital for those working with the material to stay aware of the current rules.

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