Asbestos: A Tricky and Harmful Mineral

Asbestos Contractor Los Angeles, CA

Asbestos is a mineral that has been used in thousands of products over the decades, but exposure can ultimately lead to serious and untreatable illnesses. This mineral is not easy to spot, unless you know what you are looking for. But even if you identify an item or area that contains asbestos, is it unlikely that you are actually able to see the fibers. Asbestos can only be seen through a microscope, and may look like long and thin fibrous filaments. The average person is probably not going to know when they have been exposed to this tricky and harmful mineral and should hire a professional asbestos contractor Los Angeles, CA trusts at Nielsen Environmental to have it removed.

Over the years, the number of lawsuits filed regarding asbestos exposure has increased dramatically. Anyone who believes another party was responsible for their asbestos exposure and was diagnosed with an illness as a result, may want to obtain legal representation as soon as possible.

Q: Is asbestos natural?

A: Yes, asbestos is a natural mineral which has been used for centuries for its resistance to heat and chemicals. What was once referred to as a “miracle” mineral, now poses a severe health threat to those exposed. At the peak of usage, it is estimated that a few thousand consumer products were available for purchase that contained asbestos.

Q: What makes asbestos so toxic?

A: When asbestos material is damaged or disturbed in some way, fibers may release into the air and become inhaled by anyone near. When a person unintentionally breaths in or swallows these tiny fibers, the mineral can eventually lead to health problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Q: When did people find out asbestos was dangerous?

A: Asbestos had been associated with mesothelioma and other related illnesses since the early 1900’s. However, it was not clear until many decades later that asbestos exposure and cancer risk were strongly tied, particularly as more reports of asbestos diseases were observed in doctor’s exam rooms and emergency hospitals.

Q: What is it about asbestos that is so sneaky?

A: Even after regular exposure to asbestos over a long duration of time, a person may not have any symptoms related to toxicity or poisoning right away. Asbestos-related diseases may not even develop until around 20-50 years after the initial exposure. Asbestos is tricky due to the fact that it cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, and once absorbed into the body it cannot be removed. In fact, the human body has a hard time expelling these fibers once they are inhaled or ingested. After each exposure, the asbestos just keeps building up.

Q: What places or items are most likely to have asbestos?

A: Construction sites, automotive parts, electrical materials, roofing, and consumer products may contain high levels of asbestos. This means a person may be exposed to asbestos while in his or her home, at work, or through using a household item. Insulation, floor tiles, cements, shingles, brake pads, generators, wiring insulation, hair dryers, iron board covers, and fertilizers may all contain some amount of asbestos fibers.