The Health Effects of Asbestos


Asbestos is a toxic mineral that produces debilitatinghealth effects on human beings. It is vital to carry out asbestos testing due to its toxicity.Therefore, it is crucial to have adequate measures and methods to identify andgroup asbestos in the environment. Although asbestos has beneficial uses incommercial applications, the adverse health effects it poses outweigh itsbenefits. Asbestos is dangerous because inhaling asbestos fiber may lead you todevelop health problems. All diseases related to asbestos are from chronicexposure.

Asbestosis is a scarring of the lungs usually resultingfrom long-term exposure to high amounts of asbestos, leading to collagendeposits in the lungs. The scarring causes the lungs to stiffen, and thebuildup of collagen interferes with gas-exchange, affects breathing, and in theend, it leads to death. The body produces an acid to dissolve asbestos fiberleading to scarring of the lungs. Please note that the acid has little effecton asbestos, destroying the lungs instead. It takes 25-40 years for asbestos todevelop.

Asbestos exposure may lead to Mesothelioma, a type ofcancer that leads to lung and body wall developing malignant tumor. People witha short exposure to asbestos suffer from the same disease. The effect has 35-45years latency and may show up 60 years after the asbestos exposure. Besides,the condition does not respond well to chemotherapy or radiation treatment, andit causes death. You can as well develop lung cancer as a result of asbestosexposure.

How toxic is asbestos fiber

There is no specific asbestos fiber characteristic thatdetermines the toxicity. However, the research shows that asbestos fibers havemore toxins than chrysotile. The physical appearance of asbestos in the lungsdetermines how toxic it is. Besides, its chemical prosperities can determine

the toxicity too. The size and shape of the fiber effect of asbestos to enterand destroy body cells. The durability of fiber also determines the chemicalcomposition of asbestos, affecting the toxicity of asbestos fiber differently.

Techniques used in detecting asbestos in air and soil

You have to be confident that a particular area has nointerfering materials to get accurate estimates of the asbestos in such aplace. You use differential counting to ensure asbestos fiber has nointerfering material in it. Performing differential counting needs opticaltests, electron microscopy, or dispersion staining combined with PCM toidentify the fraction of asbestos fiber. Tem is advocated in NIOSH 7400 fordifferential counting, and the method recommended is NIOSH 7402. However, usingthis method requires expertise experience in differentiating asbestos fiberfrom non-asbestos fibers. Besides, PCM resolution is worse, and as a result of

that, it misses several tiny fibers when counting thread, which you can catchusing other techniques.

It is vital to choose a technique wisely to detect allthe asbestos fiber released into the air and soil for you to get accurate anddesired results. Different strategies require varying expertise levels, andtherefore, a trained and professional person should conduct fiber counting andgive you the result.

Never assume asbestos testing when you doubt air or soilis contaminated with asbestos fiber. Just conduct the test to clear the doubtso that if it is present, you can implement the precaution measures.