Tox Town - Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral fiber found in old building materials. It can cause cancer.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different fibrous minerals they exist in a natural state in some rocks and in the soil. It comes in the form of long fibers that are strong, heat resistant and flexible enough to weave; these fibers may be white, green, blue or greyish green. Asbestos is tasteless and odorless.

It has been used in building materials such as insulation and fireproof; roof tiles; sheets for ceilings and floors; electrical insulation materials; covered with ovens and hot tubes; friction products, such as auto brake parts; cement products; coatings; plastics; packaging; textiles; packaging materials; and heat-resistant fabrics and clothing such as gloves.

To protect health, all new forms of asbestos use in the United States were banned in July 1989. Most of the forms of asbestos use established before that date are still allowed. The use of asbestos in manual hair dryers ceased voluntarily in 1979. Schools are required to conduct asbestos testing and remove it or cover it wherever it is.

How could be exposed to asbestos?

Plants that bring colors to winter
A walk back and forth, with no other purpose than to find light and color in the plants at the beginning of this winter. But you can also see species that usually flower in winter, for example, with the colorful Kniphofia praecox .

You may be exposed to asbestos most likely by inhaling asbestos particles in the air, but you may also be exposed if the skin comes in direct contact with that substance or at ingest their fibers.

You may be exposed to asbestos if you work or live in a building where asbestos was removed incorrectly or poorly. Your exposure may be greater if asbestos-containing materials disintegrate during demolition work, construction or maintenance, repair or remodeling.

You may be exposed to asbestos in the house at inhaling airborne asbestos from spent or disintegrating insulation material, roof and floor sheets and automotive products containing asbestos. Families of workers exposed to asbestos can also take that risk when contaminated clothing, shoes and equipment are brought to the home and when clothes are washed. You may be exposed to asbestos in drinking water or using products containing asbestos.

Simultaneous exposure to asbestos and cigarette smoking greatly increases the chances of developing lung cancer. >

Asbestos is a human carcinogen in the 14th Report on Carcinogens published by the National Program on Asbestos. Toxicology because it has been shown to cause cancer of the respiratory tract, lungs, vocal cords and ovaries. There is little evidence that it causes colorectal, throat and stomach cancer. The history of asbestos exposure at work is reported to cause about 70 to 80 percent of cases of mesothelioma, a rare type of mesothelial cancer, the membrane that overlays and protects most of the body's internal organs. Repeated exposure to high concentrations of asbestos in the workplace can cause asbestosis, a disease that causes disability and death; leaves scars on the lungs and can increase the size of the heart.

Exposure of the airways to high concentrations of asbestos at work can cause chest pain, wheezing, low blood oxygen concentration, thinning, drum-shaped fingers and warts on the hands. Inhalation of low concentrations of asbestos can cause plaques in the pleural membranes that surround the lungs, which eventually restrict breathing.

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, contact your doctor. / p>

In case of emergency due to poisoning or if you have questions about possible toxic substances, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

This description is based on the information found in the virtual links cited in the English version of this topic.

Virtual links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine) Asbestos Additional links Asbestos (Asbestos) Asbestos (Asbestos) Asbestos (Asbestos) Asbestos (Asbestos) (PDF - 47 KB) Asbestos (Asbestos) 95 KB) Exposure to asbestos and cancer risk (Instituto Naci (Texas Department of Insurance) (PDF - 318 KB) ToxFAQs. Asbestos (Agency for the Registration of Toxic Substances and Diseases)

Last updated: 10 February 2017