Asbestos and Lung Cancer (Part One)

Asbestos denotes a group of minerals which occur naturally as the bundles of fibers. These fibers are present in rocks and soils in various parts of the globe. They are made primarily of oxygen and silicon, yet they also contain some other elements. There two main types of asbestos. First, there is Chrysotile asbestos, which is also known as white asbestos. This is the most common kind of asbestos used in industrial applications when looked at through microscope, this sort of asbestos fibers wrap called curly asbestos or serpentine. The other type of asbestos is amphibole asbestos fibers, which appear to have a number of types of amphibole fibers. These include amosite, termolite, crocidolite, anthophylite, and actinolite.

Both types of asbestos have been associated with cancer. Asbestos fibers can be really useful since they are strong, resistant to electricity and heat and to various chemicals, and do not conduct electricity. As a corollary, asbestos has been used in insulating factories, homes, schools, homes, and even ships, and to create automobile brake and clutch pads, ceiling, roofing shingles, cement, textiles, and even hundreds of other products commonly used in homes.

During the first half of the twentieth century, growing evidence has showed that breathing in asbestos triggered scarring of the lungs. The exposure to asbestos dust in the workplace was not under control at that time. Beginning in U.K. in the 30s, a number of measures were taken so as to protect workers in the asbestos manufacturers by installing exhaust systems and ventilation. But, in the huge shipbuilding effort during the World War II, a great numbers of workers were widely exposed to high levels of asbestos.

As asbestos-associated cancers got better recognized in the other half of the 20th century, measures were made operative to bring down the exposure to asbestos, including establishing the exposure standards as well as laws which banned the use of this toxic fiber in construction materials. there has been dramatic fall in importing and using asbestos in the United States since the medieval 70s, and alternative insulating components have been created. As the result, the exposure to asbestos has fallen significantly. But, it is still used in some products, and it is still probably to get exposed to the fiber in older water pipes, building, and other settings. The use of asbestos has been restricted in the European Union since 2005, even though the ban did not need removal of the fiber which was already in place. Still, the heavy exposure to asbestos continues in certain countries due to the extensive use of asbestos.

How are people exposed to asbestos?

Basically, people can get exposed to asbestos in various ways. The first possible exposure is inhaling the fiber. Most exposures come from ingesting the fiber in the air. This can take place during the installation of asbestos insulation. It also can occur when buildings are renovated or demolished, especially those the built in the 80s. Some other conditions which can contribute to the exposure to asbestos are when older asbestos-containing products begin to break down.

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