How is Long Term Exposure to Asbestos Harmful?


Asbestos is a cheap and durable building material with insulating and fire resistant properties. These factors have led to widespread use of asbestos in construction work all over the world. It has only been a couple of decades that the dangers of long term exposure to asbestos has come to light. Since then, government regulations and public awareness has greatly helped in reducing greatly the number of new constructions with asbestos.

What Kind of Asbestos is the Problematic Kind?

Asbestos fibres or asbestos dust enters the human body through the nose or the mouth during breathing. Mucus can trap some of the dust/fibre particles and prevent it from getting in to the lungs. The problems occur when some fibres find their way into the lungs and settles there or being swallowed, pass into the digestive track. The human body cannot break down asbestos. As a result, serious health issues occur.

However, not all material with asbestos is harmful.

Asbestos which is friable, i.e., when it crumbles easily or when materials made of asbestos are broken, damaged or disturbed in any way, releases fibres and dust into the air. Sprayed asbestos used to fire insulate pillars or other structures has high friability. Floor tiles, ceiling tiles, fire doors, shingles, lavatory tops etc. increase in friability with continual water damage, wear and tear and deterioration.

Long term exposure to damaged asbestos or sprayed asbestos can cause respiratory problems along with the following fatal diseases:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung Cancer

There is no known cure for asbestos related diseases. If you come across damaged asbestos, call for asbestos removal Newcastle to have it replaced/ removed with care.