The Complete Guide to Asbestos

Everyone knows asbestos is a trigger word for danger, but not many people know exactly why. At Unlimited Restoration, we want to inform you about this dangerous substance so you and your crew can stay safe. If you spot asbestos on industrial property or in a building built before 1987, URI has emergency containment services to protect your people and investment.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that naturally occurs in the form of microscopic, thin fibers. There are six types of asbestos:

  • Actinolite
  • Amosite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Chrysotile
  • Crocidolite
  • Tremolite

Asbestos has unique properties in manufacturing since it is stronger than steel and extremely resistant to heat and chemicals. Unfortunately, asbestos is also a cancer-causing carcinogen that comes with serious side effects for humans.

Products That Contain Asbestos

In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allow asbestos in a product if it comprises less than 1% percent of the total product. There are some exceptions. For example, the EPA has banned asbestos in certain high-risk applications, including flooring felt, commercial and corrugated paper, special paper and rollboard.

The following industrial products can contain asbestos:

  • Adhesives
  • Automotive parts
  • Cement
  • Construction mastics and gunning mix
  • Diaphragms
  • Duct connectors
  • Electrical components
  • Felt
  • Fireproofing
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Plastics
  • Cement sheets
  • Textiles
  • Tiles
  • Vinyl products

Manufacturers also use asbestos in home settings with products like:

  • Appliances
  • Cigarette filters
  • Potholders
  • Ashtray coasters
  • Wicking for gas ranges
  • Fake snow
  • Hairdryers
  • Makeup
  • Talcum powder
  • Zonolite insulation

The Dangers of Asbestos Diseases

Asbestos is not significantly dangerous when it is undisturbed. When the mineral becomes airborne, humans unknowingly inhale the microscopic fibers. The inhalation can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Asbestosis is a chronic, noncancerous disease that causes inflammation and scarring of lung tissue from fiber inhalation. Lung cancer is the most common death-related side effect of asbestos exposure. If asbestos fibers remain in the lungs long enough, they can impact lung cells and cause cancer to develop. Mesothelioma occurs when a malignant, cancerous tumor appears in the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen or heart due to asbestos exposure.

All three of these illnesses generally appear in people who have prolonged exposure to asbestos, especially workers in mining, milling or manufacturing the mineral.

Contact Our Restoration Specialists Today

No one should have to deal with the threat of a contaminant like asbestos alone. Trust the professionals at Unlimited Restoration to contain the problem and treat it as quickly as possible.

Wondering if your building has asbestos? Contact us online or give us a call at 888-327-9664.


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