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Learn All About Asbestos and Be Safe With It

 

Safety & Handling

This dangerous material needs to be respected, and even just taking samples you need to keep safety in mind. The EPA has recommendations for the safe handling of potential hazardous samples to be tested.

There are two classes of asbestos containing materials, friable and non-friable. Friable means the asbestos fibres can be released into the environment simply by handling or crushing the material, like pipe insulation. Non-friable are generally sturdier like linoleum, but if handled improperly can release fibres into the environment.

Though actual asbestos abatement requires incredible safety precautions, sample collection for testing can be done much easier.

asbestos test ppeProtection is still highly recommended though. While collecting the samples:

Suspected Materials

 

Asbestos containing pottery History

Asbestos is a natural occurring fibrous silicate mineral that has been in use for nearly 5,000 years. Being discovered in the construction of clay pots dating back to 2,500 B.C.A., the name “asbestos” coined in the 1600’s was derived from ancient greek word meaning unquenchable, “ἄσβεστος”.

Shocking in hindsight, some of the more memorable uses of asbestos in the ancient world were incredibly frivolous. Entertain your guests by setting your cleaning rag on fire, wrap yourself in it and walk into fire! Charlemagne was rumoured to have a table cloth made of it, while others used blankets of it to preserve cremation remains. Perpetual wicks for lamps were made with asbestos, as well as yarn.

Humans relied on its various benefits and began large scale mining at the end of 19th century. Its incredible thermal and electrical insulating properties, fire resistance made it a must use building material throughout the entire world. Today, there are over 3,000 products that contain asbestos and the world still mines over 1.3 million tons of the material. 

 

asbestos advertisementDangers

Though rumours started much earlier, it wasn’t until 1899 that the negative effects of asbestos exposure were noted.. and the first recorded death in 1906. It wouldn’t be until the 1970’s the manufacturer’s were forced to acknowledge the incredible dangers of the product. 

To this day the product is not outright banned, and the industry continues to fight regulation ferociously despite the fact there are 90,000 deaths worldwide directly attributed to asbestos exposure. 

Known as an invisible killer, asbestos fibres can be suspended in air, breathed in and cause medical conditions such as lung cancer, scarring and mesothelioma. Arguably the worst part is the fact it can be 10-40 years from exposure that you might notice medical issues! There is no cure or treatment for asbestos exposure, so it’s essential that proper safety procedures be taken when deal with with the material.

 

Respect It

Medical professionals have stressed just how dangerous asbestos is to our individual health. Make sure you show it the same respect you would show a Grizzly Bear and you should be fine!