Legacy of Asbestos: Cancer Toxin Left Behind – Mesothelioma Guide | CarTailz

The overuse of asbestos has declined significantly since its peak in the 20th century due to strict regulations on the carcinogenic substance. Unfortunately, there is still a risk of exposure to old asbestos.

What exactly is “old asbestos”? What is the official definition and who is most affected?

Legacy asbestos, in short, is asbestos that remains in old buildings, structures, or products. It is a hazard to homeowners, office workers, and those doing renovations to old buildings.

How asbestos becomes “old asbestos”.

Asbestos is a natural fibrous substance found in soil. It was once used for electrical wiring, building roof tiles and floor tiles, insulating compounds, and other industries. It was prized for its durability, fire and heat resistance, and flexibility.

However, asbestos is fragile and can produce toxic dust if disturbed. Even the slightest touch can cause stray fibers to detach from the main source and contaminate the oxygen that residents and workers breathe throughout the day. Breathing or ingesting asbestos dust can lead to serious health problems such as: mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos diseases.

If left unperturbed, asbestos can sit in homes and offices for decades. The passage of time and the oblivion of asbestos in walls, floor tiles, roof shingles and around pipes and electrical wiring causes asbestos to become old asbestos. Any asbestos present in homes or offices today is considered legacy asbestos because it was likely installed in the 1980s or earlier. It is regarded as a legacy of the building construction of bygone times.

The danger of old asbestos is that most people don’t know it exists. Traditional asbestos can hide in walls, appliances, or even in plain sight. Knowing where to find it and what to do when you find it is important.

Where can old asbestos be found?

Since strict asbestos regulations were introduced in the 1980s, it has been decades since the hazardous substance was used in the construction of new homes or offices. However, strict regulations and the decline in use have not completely eliminated exposure risks.

The truth of American history involves asbestos. The substance was part of construction and insulation for centuries and had a major boom from the 1940s to the 1980s. The only way to make asbestos extinct is to remove the mineral from old buildings, which requires addressing the problem of legacy asbestos.

Legacy asbestos can be found in many unsuspecting placessuch as:

  • Houses
  • schools
  • offices
  • government building
  • landmark of the city
  • Other buildings (old entertainment or sports venues such as stadiums)
  • domestic appliances
  • automobiles

Legacy asbestos in schools

Schools in particular are faced with a major problem with contaminated asbestos. Schools are often old and in need of renovations, but lack of funding places these renovations lower on public school districts’ priority lists. Therefore, many schools built in the 20th century have asbestos in ceilings and walls, e.g. B. around pipes.

A few years ago, The Philadelphia School District faced a legacy asbestos crisis This led to the closure of several schools over fears of asbestos exposure for students, teachers, administrative staff and other faculty.

Legacy asbestos in automobiles

Asbestos was also known to be used in the construction and manufacture of most homes, buildings, appliances and automobiles. Automobiles are another major concern for contaminated sites of asbestos.

Many home auto mechanics or people who repair their own old vehicles may find scrap asbestos around brake pads and pads. Asbestos was added to the brake pads for heat resistance, but grinding the brakes caused asbestos to build up in the wheel wells. Any car repair could result in this asbestos dust being blown up and inhaled by the vehicle owner or mechanic.

There is an extensive one List of household appliances that may contain old asbestos.

What do I do if I find old asbestos?

If you find old asbestos in your home, office or anywhere else, contact a professional asbestos removal specialist immediately. Do not attempt to remove old asbestos from electrical wiring, siding, roof shingles, insulation or appliances. Asbestos is dangerous and any contact with the substance can be fatal.

Most states have enacted laws restricting who can handle asbestos and requiring anyone planning to handle the hazardous material to attend a training and certification course.

In most cases, your state’s environmental agency is responsible for regulating asbestos and provides training on how to deal with asbestos. Contact your state health or environmental agency to learn more about asbestos safety.

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