Asbestos is a mineral that was once commonly used in construction materials. However, it has been found to cause serious health problems, and its use is now heavily regulated. How long does asbestos stay in the air after it’s been disturbed? And what are the health risks associated with exposure? Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Does Asbestos Stay In The Air?
Asbestos fibers are tiny and can stay in the air for a long time. When asbestos dust is disturbed, it can travel through the air and stay there 48 – 72 hours before settling. Asbestos exposure is the main cause of mesothelioma, rare cancer that affects the tissue that lines the lungs. People exposed to asbestos dust are at risk of developing lung cancer. It can take up to 20 years after exposure to asbestos before someone develops lung cancer.
Types of Asbestos
There are six types of asbestos,
Chrysotile asbestos is the most common type of asbestos. It’s used in various products, including brake pads, cement, and insulation. Chrysotile asbestos is heat resistant, making it valuable for many industrial applications. However, exposure to chrysotile asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, cancer with a low survival rate. Asbestos fibers are small and lightweight, making them easy to inhale.
Once inhaled, the fibers travel to the lungs and stay there, causing inflammation and damage over time. This damage can lead to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and all types of asbestos are considered dangerous to human health.
Actinolite asbestos is the most rare type of asbestos, and exposure to this type has been linked to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers can stay airborne for long periods, and when inhaled, they can damage the lungs and other organs.
Amosite asbestos, also known as brown asbestos, was once one of the most common types of asbestos used in commercial products. it is made up of tiny fibers that can be inhaled and remain suspended in the air, where they can settle in the lungs and cause health problems. It was mined in South Africa and used cement sheets, asbestos-cement pipes and fittings, insulation materials, gaskets, and other products. Amosite asbestos is no longer mined or used commercially but can still be found in some older homes and buildings. Because of its high risk of causing cancer, amosite asbestos should be removed by a trained professional if it is found in your home or workplace.
Anthophyllite asbestos is a rarer form of asbestos that was never sold commercially. It is grey-brown and typically found in products containing vermiculite and talc. While it poses a lower risk of developing mesothelioma, exposure to anthophyllite asbestos can still cause other serious health problems.
Crocidolite asbestos is a type of blue asbestos considered the most dangerous form of asbestos. Crocidolite is made up of very thin fibers that can easily become airborne and be inhaled into the lungs, where they pose a high risk of causing cancer.
Tremolite asbestos is one of the six recognized types of asbestos. Although it is not as widely used as other forms of asbestos, it can be found in roofing materials, plumbing materials, insulation, sealants, and paints. Exposure to tremolite asbestos can cause lung cancer and asbestosis. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that results in scarring of the lungs. If you have been exposed to tremolite asbestos, it is important to seek medical attention and get regular checkups.
How Does Asbestos Exposure Happen?
Asbestos exposure can happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it occurs when people handle raw asbestos fibers. Other times, it may result from living or working in an area where asbestos fibers have been released into the air. It is also possible to develop asbestos-related diseases after coming into contact with contaminated clothing or hair. Asbestos exposure is most dangerous when it happens regularly or for long periods of time. However, even brief exposure to asbestos fibers can cause health problems.
What To Do If Asbestos Is Disturbed?
If you think you may have disturbed asbestos, it’s important to take action immediately to minimize the risk of exposure:
- Wet the area with water to keep the fibers from becoming airborne.
- Cover the area with a heavy sheet or tape to prevent anyone from coming into contact with it.
- Call a professional to come and remove the asbestos properly.
If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to see a doctor immediately. Asbestos exposure can cause a number of serious health problems, including cancer. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or a local asbestos removal specialist.
What Happens If You Breathe A Little Asbestos?
If you breathe in a small amount of asbestos, it’s not likely to cause any harm. The fibers will pass through your body and be excreted. However, if you’re exposed to asbestos on a regular basis, the fibers can build up in your lungs and cause lung problems. Asbestosis is a serious lung condition that can lead to shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain. If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to see a doctor for a check-up. They can order tests to check for asbestos fibers in your lungs and advise you on the best course of treatment.
Do Air Purifiers Get Rid Of Asbestos?
Air purifiers are often advertised as effective at removing various types of pollutants from the air, but can they get rid of asbestos?
The answer is complicated. Some air purifiers are equipped with filters that can capture and remove large airborne particles, like asbestos fibers. However, not all air purifiers are equally effective, and some types of filters may end up dispersing asbestos fibers instead of trapping them. The best way to reduce your asbestos exposure is to have your home or office professionally tested for the presence of the toxin. If asbestos is found, it’s important to consult with a qualified professional about the best way to remove it. In most cases, air purifiers alone will not be enough to eliminate the problem.
Danny is a passionate writer who loves to share his knowledge about air purifiers. He’s been writing for the last 10 years, and he’ll be sharing all of that experience with Very Well Home viewers in order help you make better decisions when it comes time buy one!