Asbestos was used widely in past. In fact there were more than 3,600 product which contained asbestos primarily because of its strength and insulating properties. One major areas of asbestos usage was constriction industry. Buildings and houses constructed in or before 1980s have been found to have asbestos in them in form of floor tiles, insulation, roof tiles, shingles, pipes, etc. Among all, tiles have been one very common product which contained asbestos in it.
Friable and Non Friable Asbestos
Asbestos usage has been considered key cause of fatal disease such as asbestosis, mesothelioma , lung cancer and many more. As asbestos was part of many common used products in past and was also part of construction industry, most of us are still surrounded by asbestos. You will be amazed that asbestos has been used in producing more than 3,600 different kind of products. For example, if your building was constructed in or before 1980s, it is likely to have asbestos in floor tiles, ceilings, insulations, roof tiles and many other places. Similarly, with lot of electric appliances which were sold at that time and in many cases still are (e.g. brake linings have asbestos). Many countries have banned asbestos and many have limited its usage. USA has done the latter. Thus asbestos is still used in products and appliances.
Medical Expenses for Asbestos Related Diseases
Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two of the many disease caused due to exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It develops from transformed cells originating in the mesothelium which is protective lining that covers many of the internal organs. Asbestos exposure is not the only cause of this disease but is one of the most prominent ones. Asbestosis on the other hand is inflammatory and fibrotic medical condition affecting the lungs and is caused by the inhalation and retention of asbestos fibres.
In spite of medical advances and research, the cure rates of mesothelioma and asbestosis patients is very low (next to nil) and complete cures are very rare.
Asbestos Liability Cases in USA
Asbestos has been found to cause several fatal diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, etc. Asbestos is not the first material used by human civilization which is harmful, many chemicals used in industries are even more harmful, for example methyl isocyanate used in chemical plants, is extremely toxic and was cause of thousands of death when it leaked in India (Bhopal gas tragedy, 1984).
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is set of six naturally occurring silicate material having unique properties such as high strength, sound absorbent, resistance against fire and heat. Because of these desirable properties asbestos has been used commercially especially in industries such as construction, maritime, automotive etc. since long. The names of these six minerals which constitute asbestos are:
Till a few decades ago, asbestos was integral part of a construction industry. Asbestos was widely used in building houses and offices and industrial complexes (and is still is in many countries). Asbestos ones considered to be a very useful mineral has now become a serious danger to life of people across the world as its exposure is associated with fatal diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. To decrease the risks of health hazards caused by asbestos, today in most of the developed countries the use of asbestos is either banned or is restricted to only a few products. While by these regulations, asbestos penetration has decreased but what about houses, products, building which had asbestos and still in use? How do you tackle it? It is important to understand why asbestos is harmful before discussing how to tackle it.
Is it Asbestos in my House?
Asbestos is set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals. The names of six materials are, Amosite, Chrysotile, Tremolite, Actinolite, Anthophyllite and Crocidolite. Because of its properties such as heat resistance, strength and flexibility asbestos was used in various industries such as construction, automobile, garments, maritime, etc. Gradually harmful effects of asbestos fibres to humans came into picture and its role in disease such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma became clear. When these harmful effects of asbestos became clear, asbestos was banned from many countries (more than 50 as of now) and many other restricted their usage to only a few products (USA for example allows asbestos usage in automobile brake lining etc.).