Risks of exposure
Once the asbestos enters the air, it can stay suspended for a long period of time, which increases the chance of being inhaled and settling in the lungs. Asbestos that is spun into loose fibers is the easiest material to be released into the air but any material containing asbestos can become airborne. These particles can be difficult to remove and require specialized equipment in the form of HEPA negative air pressure machines with specially designed filters to clean the air.
Common ways in which asbestos can become airborne include:
- During renovations to buildings that already contain asbestos,
- Concrete containing asbestos is pulverized,
- Roofing tiles treated with asbestos are crushed,
- Any asbestos containing product is disturbed in such a way that it releases particles into the air,
- Even drinking water may contain asbestos from natural, sources or from asbestos containing cement pipes.All personnel who work on construction sites, demolition sites, or with the mining and production of asbestos may be exposed to high levels of asbestos.
It’s important to use properly trained contractors, certified and reputable, for asbestos removal. This process is called asbestos abatement. These trained professionals know how to remove the asbestos safely and to stop the asbestos from becoming airborne. Once airborne, these particles can only be removed using the special HEPA machines.
It’s important to realize that there is NO safe level of asbestos exposure. Exposure can cause cancers, tumors, scarring and death.