Chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite fibers are the most common types of asbestos minerals. However, only chrysotile, crocidolite, and amosite varieties are of industrial importance. Characteristics, like heat resistance, chemical inertness, high tensile strength and insulating capacity, coupled with the flexibility to be woven make asbestos suitable for use in many industrial and residential applications.
Asbestos can enter the environment from fiber releases arising from man made asbestos products. Asbestos may be found in products like floor tiles, roof shingles, cement, and automotive brakes. Electrical, plumbing, acoustical, and structural insulation applications are also very common. Asbestos fibers are released into the air when these products are disturbed or degraded.
Information on human health effects of asbestos comes mostly from long-term studies of people exposed to asbestos in the workplace. People who breathe in asbestos may develop a slow build-up of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis. This scarred tissue state impairs the ability of the lungs and heart to adequately provide oxygen to the body. This is a serious disease, and can eventually lead to disability or death in people exposed to high amounts of asbestos. People with long term exposure to asbestos also have increased chances of developing two types of cancer: Lung cancer starts within the respiratory tissues, and mesothelioma cancer grows from the thin membranes that surround the lung or the abdominal cavities. Both lung cancer and mesothelioma are usually fatal. These asbestos-related diseases do not appear immediately, but may develop 20 to 50 years after exposure.
Because of the dangers of asbestos, the Oregon DEQ and LRAPA (Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority), under the authority of the E.P.A., require an asbestos survey to determine the presence of asbestos in many buildings built before 1987 when doing renovation or demolition.
ATEZ, Inc. can provide sampling services, surveys and asbestos abatement. Please call us to discuss your needs.
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