Asbestos, Health

In: Other Topics

Submitted By nitty22
Words 611
Pages 3
Nancy Richardson

January 17, 2012

Envh 300-50

Dr. Ulirsch

Better Protection Against Asbestos in the Workplace
What is asbestos? Asbestos is a family of naturally occurring silica compounds (similar to, but not the same as, the silica of window glass and computer chips). These substances form fibers with varying shapes and sizes and are found throughout the earth. There are three commonly available types of asbestos; chrysotile (white asbestos) comes mainly from Canada, and has been very widely used in the US, amosite (brown asbestos) comes from southern Africa, and crocidolite (blue asbestos) comes from southern Africa or Australia. All three have been associated with cancerous and non-cancerous lung disease. Asbestos has been used often in a variety of building materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. Asbestos is usually found in older homes in pipes, furnaces, roof shingles, millboard, textured paints, coating materials, and floor tiles.
However, the presences of asbestos containing products in the area in which you live, work, or go to school at is not necessarily a hazardous condition. It is only hazardous when asbestos containing products break down and become airborne then a hazardous condition is created. The clinical symptoms usually include pain in chest or abdomen, coughing up blood, difficulty swallowing, bone pain or tenderness, weight loss, slowly progressing shortness of breath and cough, often 20 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos(Medicine net). Currently about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace. In 2004, asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis from occupational exposures resulted in 107,000 deaths and 1,523,000 Disability Adjusted Life Years (World Health Organization).
All industrial countries now regulate asbestos exposure in the workplace. In the United States, the…...

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