Why is Asbestos so Scary?
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"It's shocking to me that hundreds of thousands of people are dying of asbestos-related disease across this country but most people don't know a thing about it," says Chris Weis, an asbestos coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency. Medical evidence dating back to 1899 has shown that asbestos is a slow but steady killer, even though world governments, including our own, and the popular media have long bought into the idea that a little asbestos won't hurt you. In fact, a single microscopic spear-shaped asbestos fiber lodged in a victim's lung can cause myriad fatal reactions. Physicians estimate that exposure to asbestos will eventually kill millions of Americans. They will die of asbestosis, mesothelioma, tremolite poisoning, or cancer of the esophagus, colon, or stomach.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that has been used extensively because of its heat strength, tensile strength, and insulating properties. The troubling aspect of asbestos is that it is lethal and has been described as a silent killer that can lead to asbestosis, mesothelioma, tremolite poisoning, or cancer of the esophagus, colon, or stomach.
According to Asbestos.com:
Homes and apartments built before 1980 often are filled with asbestos, needing only normal wear and tear with age to dislodge the fibers and send them airborne. Asbestos can be found in floor tiles, roofs, furnaces, plumbing, appliances, fireplaces and window caulking, leaving most everyone vulnerable.
Click here to review a detailed diagram of where asbestos can be found in your home.
The prevalence of asbestos in homes and buildings and the illnesses it is causing has led to many law suits and litigation's. According to a special report by Reuters, asbestos related law suits are on the rise. Lawyers are taking advantage of this fact and focusing on recruiting clients for class action lawsuits. In fact:
"At one point earlier this year, 15 of the 100 most expensive keyword search phrases for click-through ads on Google contained the word "mesothelioma," the deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The single most expensive phrase, online marketing firm SpyFu reported, was "Florida mesothelioma lawyers," at $177.74 per click."
Asbestos is in the News and will continue to be. So, what should you do if you suspect that you may have asbestos in your home or office? According to Michael Bowker, author of the book Fatal Deception, you should call a professional and avoid trying to take your own samples. In his words:
"Unless you are trained and have proper protective gear, you might expose yourself and perhaps your family by attempting to take your own samples"
Asbestos is scary for one simple reason: it causes death. The only way to deal with asbestos is to remove it or contain it and that will be the subject of our next blog entry where we explain the Asbestos Abatement process. In the mean time, stay vigilant my friends and educate yourselves about asbestos.