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What is Asbestos?
---The Toxic Substances Control Act describes asbestos as “the asbestiform varieties of: chrysotile (serpentine); crocidolite (riebeckite); amosite (cummingtonite/grunerite); anthophyllite; tremolite; and actinolite.” They are naturally occurring fibrous materials that have been commonly used in many building construction materials for insulation, and as a fire-retardant.
Common Sources of Asbestos:
---Due to their heat-resistance and strength, asbestos fibers have been used in many products. Most of these are materials used in heat & acoustic insulation, fire proofing, and roofing & flooring. In 1989, the EPA identified asbestos product categories. The list can be found on the EPA website.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
---When Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM) become damaged or disturbed by repair, renovation or demolition, microscopic fibers can become airborne and are inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause health problems including Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, or Mesothelioma.
Asbestosis: A serious, progressive and long-term non-cancer disease of the lungs that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. These fibers irritate lung tissue; causing scarring that makes it hard for oxygen to get into the blood. There is no effective treatment for asbestosis.
Lung Cancer: The largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure is caused by lung cancer. People who work closely with asbestos and ACM are more likely to develop lung cancer than the general population, especially those that also smoke.
Mesothelioma: A rare form of lung cancer. Almost all cases are linked to asbestos exposure. This disease can show up many years after the initial exposure to asbestos, which is why great efforts are being made to prevent school children from being exposed.
What do do if asbestos is found in your home.
---The first thing you should do if you notice asbestos in your home is to determine what condition the fibers are in. Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM) that are in good condition should be left alone, since the only damaged fibers pose a threat to your health. If you do find damaged ACM, you should immediately isolate the area, refrain from further disturbing the material, and contact an asbestos professional for consultation. If you are unsure what condition the ACM is in, contactWISE (or other professional asbestos inspector) to sample and test the material. ACM does not necessarily need to be removed from your home, but it may be repaired by an asbestos professional through encapsulation or enclosure. Complete removal of asbestos is often unnecessary. Contact WISE at (775) 827-2717 for more information on an asbestos consultation for your home.
What is the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act?
---In 1986, the AHERA was signed into law. This Act requires public and private non-profit primary and secondaryschools to inspect their buildings for Asbestos-Containing Building Materials (ACBM). The EPA requires these schools to have an Asbestos Management Plan in place to ensure that all ACBM remains in good condition, and is removed only to prevent significant exposure during renovation or demolition. WISE employs certified Management Planners to assist schools in developing and maintaining an Asbestos Management Plan in accordance with the AHERA. For more information on AHERA Asbestos Management Plans for Local Education Agencies, visit theEPA website or contact WISE at (775) 827-2717.
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health: NIOSH is the Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease or injury. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pleuralmesothelioma.com has the most up to date and comprehensive information about Pleural Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure related cancer on the web today. Such as Mesothelioma Life Span and information ranging from a complete list of symptoms, to treatment options, and steps to take after a diagnosis.