Exposure to asbestos for a longer period can lead to fatal diseases like lung cancer and asbestosis. A & O Contracting Inc. in North America provides asbestos abatement solutions to ensure your work environment is safe for your workers. Our certified technicians follow safety standards and provide professional services. We’ve provided more information on asbestos for your convenience below. Contact us for our help in securing your work environment.
What Is Asbestos?
The word asbestos refers to naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are used in a wide range of products due to properties such as insulation, acoustics, fire protection and chemical resistance. The six commercially used varieties of asbestos are actinolite, amosite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite and tremolite.
When asbestos fibres are released from asbestos-containing materials, it can be dangerous for those near or around it. Safe work procedures and the right precautions must be taken in order to ensure that individuals are not exposed to harmful levels of asbestos fibres when working close to materials contaminated by asbestos. Regular inspections can decrease the chances of harmful exposure.
How Has Asbestos Been Used?
Asbestos was used between 1930s and 1970s in many building materials such as sprayed fibrous fireproofing on structural steelwork, thermal insulation on heaters, boilers, pipes and other mechanical equipment, decorative or acoustic plaster finish on ceiling and walls, asbestos-cement products including acoustic paneling, electric insulation, laboratory table tops, water and sewage piping systems, ceiling tiles, vinyl floor tiles and sheet flooring.
Now, under the Ontario Construction Safety Act, suppliers of pipe and boiler insulation are prohibited from using asbestos in their product.
Why Is Asbestos a Health Hazard?
Asbestos is a hazardous material that can cause various diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma, cancer of the lung and other asbestos-related cancers. These diseases can cause severe medical disability and in some cases, even death.
The asbestos fibres, which aren’t visible to the naked eye, enter the lung and cause diseases when inhaled. Asbestos diseases are insidious since it can take up to 10 years before the disease is actually noticed.