Asbestos is a dangerous substance that you want to ensure is neither in your home or workplace. If you are unsure whether your building is putting people at risk of exposure to asbestos, it’s important to schedule inspection and mitigation services right away. At EnviroMavens, our industrial hygiene consultants are here to help you protect your workplace from contaminants. We are proud to be a full-service industrial hygiene, asbestos, and microbial abatement organization. Our company serves businesses across the entire state of Tennessee from Jackson to Knoxville, as well as businesses in Huntsville, Alabama. Contact us today to schedule the services you need.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined in a similar fashion to other common minerals such as iron, lead, and copper. There are six varieties of regulated asbestos, including:
Unlike most minerals, which turn into dust particles when crushed, asbestos breaks up into fine fibers, which cannot be seen by the naked eye. These fibers are frequently mixed with a material that binds them together, which produces an asbestos-containing material (ACM).
Why has asbestos been so widely used?
Obviously, builders and manufacturers would not use a substance they knew led to health problems. The reason asbestos was so widely used was due in part to its strength and flexibility as well as its resistance to burning. Asbestos is a poor conductor of heat and electricity and resists corrosion, which made it seem like an ideal element to use in the building and manufacturing of homes, businesses, and many other buildings.
How can asbestos affect my health?
There have been a number of studies on people who were exposed to asbestos. These studies revealed that breathing high levels of asbestos can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity. Asbestosis is a condition in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue. The more that asbestos fibers are inhaled, the higher the risk of developing any of these conditions. Additionally, the risk of lung cancer is even greater from inhaling asbestos fibers if an individual smokes. Unfortunately, the symptoms of these diseases do not typically appear until 20 to 30 years after the initial exposure to asbestos fibers.
How are people exposed to asbestos?
When asbestos material is disturbed, asbestos fibers may be released into the air, which can then be inhaled by those nearby. In fact, asbestos fibers are small and light, which means they can remain present in the air for quite a long time. Individuals whose work involved demolishing or renovating buildings can be in contact with asbestos materials and breathe in the fibers as a result. When they remove their clothes at home, other individuals in the household can breathe in asbestos fibers released from the clothes. Additionally, individuals who live or work near any asbestos-related operations can also inhale asbestos fibers released into the air from the work involved with the operation.
How is asbestos identified?
Since asbestos is too small to be seen by the human eye, only an instrumental analysis can determine whether a material or product truly contains asbestos. If you suspect that a product or material contains asbestos, it’s best to follow safety protocols until the testing is completed and you have accurate results. It is best to assume a material has asbestos unless there is a label stating that it does not contain asbestos or the manufacturer verifies that it is free of asbestos.
Asbestos Inspection and Mitigation Services
Given the serious health risks posed by prolonged exposure to asbestos, it’s critical to schedule asbestos inspection, testing, and mitigation services with the occupational health and safety consultants at EnviroMavens. Our team has the experience and knowledge to provide the effective industrial hygiene services you need to ensure your work environment is free from asbestos and provide a safe and healthy environment for all who enter. We proudly serve clients across the state of Tennessee as well as in Huntsville, Alabama. Contact us today to schedule your service.