How and Why is Asbestos a Health Risk?

What Asbestos Was Used For

During the 20th century Asbestos was used extensively within the construction industry. Asbestos was used in more than 3,000 different construction materials many such as:

  • Insulation within the walls
  • Floor Tiles
  • Furnace
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical Work
  • Dry Wall
  • Pipe Coating
  • Textured paint all may contain asbestos.

These are just a few examples of some of the products that asbestos might be used for.

 

Asbestos was once coveted for its versatility, flexibility and affordability. It is a naturally occurring mineral that can be mixed with most anything to strengthen and fireproof. Unfortunately, it also is toxic, a fact that didn’t become well known until the mid-1970s and the public outcry about using it began. It becomes dangerous when it’s disturbed and turns brittle over time. Asbestos is everywhere in older construction, turning the remodeling or renovation of homes and businesses into a precarious undertaking. It’s where the biggest danger remains today.

Asbestos products in new construction are limited mostly to roofing materials for heat reduction and certain cement products. The use of asbestos has significantly dropped in recent decades, but the incidence of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, has remained as steady as ever. More than 50 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. only restricts it, making awareness to the dangers more important than ever.

The extensive use of asbestos throughout much of the 20th century will continue to haunt those doing repair and demolition work for decades, unless proper precautions are taken.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Microscopic asbestos fibers can be unknowingly inhaled or ingested, then become lodged in the thin membrane surrounding the lungs or the heart. Over time, those fibers cause scaring that can lead to a number of serious health issues, including asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is diagnosed in an estimated 3,000 people annually in the U.S., mostly long after exposure to asbestos. The latency period between exposure and diagnosis can be anywhere from 20-50 years. Because of the latency period and early symptoms mirroring those of less serious problems, an early diagnosis is difficult to get. Mesothelioma is usually not diagnosed until it already has metastasized, making it more difficult to treat. The rarity of the disease makes it critically important to find a specialist to stage and treat it. Most doctors, even oncologists, rarely see it and don’t understand its intricacies. Finding a specialty center is vital.

Although the typical prognosis is 9-18 months to live, recent advancements in medicine have extended survival times significantly. People are now living two – five years plus with mesothelioma. There is no cure, but treatment has come a long way. A multidisciplinary approach that includes a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can extend lives. There are clinical trials with the latest immunotherapy and gene therapy drugs.

Hope has replaced the gloom-and-doom approach of the past.

Just remember, though, that vigilance is imperative. Tradesmen of all kinds remain at risk. Firemen are especially vulnerable when answering calls in older buildings. Electricians, plumbers, carpenters and appliance installers also could be at risk.

 

Tim Povtak is the primary content writer for this article and is also the content writer for the Mesothelioma Center and Asbestos.com, an informational source for mesothelioma patients and families.


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Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:48:00+00:00
These guys are great. I have used them on a couple jobs now and could not be happier. Andrew is very attentive, prompt, and professional. He is also very honest and has saved me a little money when he could have upsold me because I thought the problem was worse than it was. I will not call anyone else anymore.

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Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:45:21+00:00
After a major storm, I thought I might have mold in my attic. I contacted Wing Three and they were able to squeeze me in the same day for a free inspection and estimate. The technician that came to the appointment was top notch and took the time to explan everything to me. He was courteous and very knowledgeable. One of the best companies for customer service I have ever dealt with. I highly recommend this company!

I would recommend Wing Three without reservation for Asbestos Removal

I would recommend Wing Three without reservation. Dave Szyszka came to my home for a consult about asbestos. He really took the time to walk me through the process and really listened to my plans. His recommendations were spot-on. I really appreciated that he acted as a true consultant to me in this; he didn't just try to sell me an expensive and exhaustive procedure. While at my home, he also inspected my attic, just because we was there, not because I had ordered the inspection. He was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, honest and kind. If this is indicative of the level of service Wing Three provides, then this is a company of refreshing service. This went above and beyond my expectations. Thank you! BTW it is important to note that the original specialist, who lived closer to my home, was called away on a family emergency. Rather then reschedule my appointment, they had Dave drive all the way from Milwaukee in order to keep my appointment--that's over 2 hours. I am so impressed. Again, many thanks.
Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:43:58+00:00
I would recommend Wing Three without reservation. Dave Szyszka came to my home for a consult about asbestos. He really took the time to walk me through the process and really listened to my plans. His recommendations were spot-on. I really appreciated that he acted as a true consultant to me in this; he didn't just try to sell me an expensive and exhaustive procedure. While at my home, he also inspected my attic, just because we was there, not because I had ordered the inspection. He was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, honest and kind. If this is indicative of the level of service Wing Three provides, then this is a company of refreshing service. This went above and beyond my expectations. Thank you! BTW it is important to note that the original specialist, who lived closer to my home, was called away on a family emergency. Rather then reschedule my appointment, they had Dave drive all the way from Milwaukee in order to keep my appointment--that's over 2 hours. I am so impressed. Again, many thanks.

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Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:38:34+00:00
Fantastic operation. Fair quote, excellent service. Able to fit in schedule immediately. Offers 15 year transferable warranty with mold remediation which is fantastic.

They were reasonably priced and were efficient with their work

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Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:37:28+00:00
They were reasonably priced and were efficient with their work. Professional

Wing Three was a great company to deal with

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Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:34:52+00:00
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Truly felt like we were treated like on of their family members.

Wing Three has a first class operation! From the their customer rep. to their worker bees, and even the owner had our interest at heart! They did an awesome job, explained everything as they went along. Truly felt like we were treated like on of their family members. This is hard to find that in a company these days! I would recommend them to anyone that wants great service! Thank you! Wanda Sajdowitz
Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:31:50+00:00
Wing Three has a first class operation! From the their customer rep. to their worker bees, and even the owner had our interest at heart! They did an awesome job, explained everything as they went along. Truly felt like we were treated like on of their family members. This is hard to find that in a company these days! I would recommend them to anyone that wants great service! Thank you! Wanda Sajdowitz
mold removal, asbestos removal, Mold, asbestos

I would be pleased to recommend them.

The technicians showed up at the scheduled time period and reviewed what they were going to be doing. They completed the work in the timely manner and cleaned up the work area. Additionally they gave me the opportunity to inspect their work after they were finished. I would be pleased to recommend them .
Wing Three, Asbestos Removal, Mold Removal
5.0
2017-11-27T23:26:51+00:00
The technicians showed up at the scheduled time period and reviewed what they were going to be doing. They completed the work in the timely manner and cleaned up the work area. Additionally they gave me the opportunity to inspect their work after they were finished. I would be pleased to recommend them .
5.0
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