A for Asbestosis
One of the effects of being exposed to asbestos is acquiring a respiratory disease. Asbestosis is one of them. Asbestosis, pronounced as “as-bes-TOE-sis”, is a type of chronic lung disease which is caused primarily by inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibres. This disease cause lung tissue scarring and shortness of breath depending on the severity. This disease does not appear right after being exposed to asbestos which makes it hard to cure.
Asbestosis is normally acquired on the job by workers when certain procedures and safety protocols are not followed. The best way to avoid getting it during work is to wear proper equipment and to periodically sanitise and remove any object with Asbestos fibres or materials.
B for Bituminous Membrane
Bituminous Membrane is a flexible thin sheeting that is used for waterproofing and dampening sound. It is one of the construction materials that was used along with Asbestos. House built along the Asbestos period is most likely built with this membrane.
C for Chrysotile
Chrysotile, or white asbestos, is the most used form of Asbestos in the construction industry. Almost every part of a house is built with material mixed with this Asbestos form if you allowed materials with Asbestos to be used. This Asbestos form is also used in automobile brake linings, gaskets, and boiler sealers, insulation for pipes, appliances, and ducts.
Aside from the Chrysotile, there are 5 more common forms of Asbestos: Amosite, Crocidolite, Anthophyllite, Tremolite, and Actinolite.
D for Demolition
Demolition is the process of wrecking or taking out any structural member of a facility. Asbestos removal is mainly composed of demolition work which is why governments published rules and regulations with regards to demolishing structures with asbestos material.
E for Electricity Generation
It is not general knowledge that power plants use a great amount of Asbestos to protect the pieces of machinery such as pipes, turbines, and boilers from the high amount of heat. In the engineering world, asbestos is a well-known product and hazardous material.
F for Friable
Asbestos can be either friable or non-friable. Friable asbestos means that the asbestos material crumbles and pulverises easily. These types of asbestos are more hazardous than its counterpart. When a material contains more than 1% asbestos and is friable, it is categorised as a Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material. This means that there are regulations and stricter measurements that need to be followed to use this product.
G for Gasbestos
The asbestos-coated metal sheet is also called Gasbestos. Gasbestos is a type of galvanised iron sheet coated with asbestos on each side and is commonly used as external wall cladding and roof.
H for Heavy Industry
A manufacturing plant is called heavy industry when it manufactures large, heavy articles and materials. Products such as iron, oil, ships, coal, cement, to name a few, are examples of many products that heavy industry produces. People working in this industry are the most vulnerable to asbestos inhalation or ingestion because asbestos is heavily used to control heat and corrosion inside the area.
I for Insulation Board
Asbestos Insulation Board is a well-known material used for fireproofing houses. Aside from fireproofing houses, an insulation board can also be used for wall partitioning, lift shaft linings, ceiling tiles, soffits, and panels for windows. Like any other asbestos materials, handling asbestos insulation boards is also dangerous for the health of the worker. A licenced contractor is required when a work using this type of board exceeds 1-hour exposure for a single person.
L for Lung Cancer
Asbestos lung cancer is also one of the main diseases caused by inhaling asbestos. It is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States which is why exposure to asbestos is highly discouraged by the government.
Lung Cancer’s symptom includes shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing of blood. Like asbestosis, lung cancer can develop and appear 15 to 35 years after asbestos exposure. This disease develops in the linings of the lungs, turning the lung cells cancerous. People involved with professions such as mining, construction, shipbuilding, firefighting, and heavy industry are the ones with high chances of getting this type of cancer.
M for Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is like lung cancer. However, unlike lung cancer that can be caused by other reasons, mesothelioma’s cause is the only inhalation of asbestos fibres. Although both lung cancer and mesothelioma have similar diagnostic procedures and symptoms, mesothelioma develops inside the lungs. Both the disease takes decades to develop, but lung cancer takes more lives than mesothelioma does.
N for Non-Friable
Non-friable asbestos is the opposite of friable asbestos. Non-friable asbestos is asbestos material or products that are well bonded thus the chances of the asbestos being inhaled or ingested is lower compared to the friable asbestos. This is also the reason why non-friable asbestos materials are not regulated. This does not mean that non-friable materials pose no threat. Non-friable only means that the material is well-mixed and is safer to use compared to friable materials. All of this can add to the cost of asbestos removal.
P for Plasters
Asbestos in plasters was common during the 1980s. The three most common types of plasters with asbestos are cement, gypsum, and lime. Asbestos is mixed with normal plasters to add additional insulation and resistance to fire. These techniques are inexpensive and thus used widely in construction before asbestosis was discovered to be hazardous.
S for Soft Demolition
Soft demolition is the process of removing floor coverings, drywall, hard ceilings, drop ceilings, asphalt, retaining walls, overhangs, and kerbs, structural and non-structural walls from any building. This process is commonly used for asbestos removal and can only be done when an engineer is supervising the whole process. Soft demolition is a sub-category of demolition where deconstruction is only partial and dependant on the parts that need to be removed. Asbestos mixed structures are the ones being removed from these types of projects. However, soft demolition is not limited only to asbestos removal. Some soft demolition is done only for the sake of renovation.
T for Toxic
Asbestos is a toxic material and could cause lung diseases if inhaled or ingested. Studies proved that inhalation of asbestos fibres results in a slow development of scar-like tissues in the lungs and in the membrane of the lungs. For this reason, asbestos removal can only be done by professionals with proper materials and equipment for hazardous waste disposal.