What Makes Asbestos Bad for You?

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In our experience at Remtech Environmental, most people are aware that asbestos poses significant health risks, such as an increased risk of certain lung cancers. However, not everyone understands why asbestos has such a damaging effect on people’s health or why it increases the risk of these diseases. In this article, we will provide an overview of what exactly makes asbestos bad for you.

What Makes Asbestos Bad for You?

What Is Asbestos?

First, allow us to explain what exactly asbestos is. Asbestos is the name given to certain minerals which form into bundles of thin fibers. These fibers can then be separated into long, durable threads and used to manufacture a variety of other goods. Asbestos fibers have many useful properties, such as heat resistance, fire protection, and more, which is why these minerals were so widely used in construction and manufacturing.

What Makes Asbestos Harmful?

Asbestos is hazardous to your health because of its tiny fibers. Its fibers are so fine they can be breathed in, where they can easily become trapped in the lungs. When asbestos fibers get stuck in your lungs, they can cause a variety of health problems, including inflammation and scarring, and make it difficult to breathe. Some types of asbestos fibers are also sharp enough to penetrate individual cells, damaging the nucleus and making those cells more likely to mutate and become cancerous. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can therefore significantly increase the risk of some types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, as well as of the thin membranes lining the chest and abdomen. (This last type is known as mesothelioma.)