Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals. Some of the properties of asbestos are sound absorption, fire resistance, heat and electricity resistance, tensile strength and affordability. Asbestos has been mined from a couple of thousand years but large scale mining started in the end of 19th century when people learned about its properties. It was used to a large extent by 20th century until people came to know about the health hazards of asbestos dust and it was outlawed by courts and legislatures in fireproofing and other uses in many countries.
Individual asbestos fibers are almost invisible to unaided human eyes. The size of a single asbestos fiber is about 3 to 20 micrometer wide and about 0.01 micrometer in breadth. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious and fatal health problems. Some of them are following:
It is a chronic lung disease which is caused from the inhalation of asbestos particles. Due to long exposure of the asbestos fibers causes lung tissue scarring and shortness of breath. This disease is generally acquired from workplace if one works with handling of asbestos though if one follows the safety procedure then acquiring asbestosis is highly unlikely.
- Asbestos warts
This disease is caused by the sharp fibers lodges in skin which are overgrown and cause benign callus-like growth. These warts are round or irregular in shape with a rough surface and occur when asbestos fibers penetrate skin.
- Pleural plaque
Pleural plaques are deposits of asbestos fibers in the parietal pleura. These are indication of asbestos exposure and become visible after ten or twenty or more years after the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
- Diffuse pleural thickening
It is similar to pleural plaque and can be cause by asbestosis sometimes. Though there are no symptoms of this but it can cause lung impairment.
Asbestos exposure can be really harmful for one’s health and proper safety procedure should be followed while handling asbestos. One can get disposable clothing for working with asbestos from many online stores and offline stores. This protective clothing protects one from being exposed to asbestos fibers and prevents the asbestos fibers from causing one harmful and hazardous health problems.