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Doctor insights on: Asbestos

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Dr. Beatrice Taylor
209 doctors shared insights

Asbestos (Overview)

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that was used extensively in construction as insulation for buildings. It was later found to cause lung disease in humans, and is no longer used in construction. However, the demolition of old building continues to put some people at risk of being exposed to asbestos.


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What is asbestos?

What is asbestos?

Asbestos: Is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials. ...Read more

Dr. Beatrice Taylor
209 doctors shared insights

Asbestos (Overview)

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that was used extensively in construction as insulation for buildings. It was later found to cause lung disease in humans, and is no longer used in construction. However, the demolition of old building continues to put some people at risk of being exposed to asbestos.


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How bad is asbestos?

How bad is asbestos?

Leave it be: If there's asbestos in your home or school, don't stir it up and it won't hurt you. Inhaled at work, it is extremely dangerous, causing lung fibrosis, classic lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Tiny exposures won't hurt you, but the massive amounts that rotten corporations forced ordinary people to inhale in the past are now killing them. ...Read more

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Is asbestos really bad?

Is asbestos really bad?

Yes: In the old days, companies allowed workers to inhale a lot of the stuff and there's no question these caused fibrosis of the lungs ("asbestosis"), mesothelioma, and common lung cancer. The 1980s hoopla over asbestos in buildings where it's not being inhaled was driven by big-money and politics as even the epa eventually recognized. Avoid inhaling the stuff and you should be fine. ...Read more

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How harmful is asbestos?

How harmful is asbestos?

Depends on the type.: The are various types of asbestos, depending on the chemical makeup and fiber size/shape. Some types seem to be more harmful than others, but all types should be considered harmful and carcinogenic. Asbestos can cause serious lung disease (asbestosis) or deadly cancer of the lung or abdomen (mesothelioma). Smoking combined with asbestos exposure greatly raises the lung cancer risk. ...Read more

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What exactly is 'asbestos'?

What exactly is 'asbestos'?

Natural rocks: Asbestos is a type of soft rock. There are many types of naturally occurring asbestos, and they are used in many commercial applications. Unfortunately, fibers of asbestos can get into our lungs and digestive tract and cause problems. You can learn more here- http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp.asp?id=30&tid=4 ...Read more

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Can you tell me about asbestos?

Can you tell me about asbestos?

Dangerous insulation: This is a naturally-occurring mineral that is a great insulator. Everyone's lungs contain a few particles, but if they are inhaled in large quantities even for a short time, it creates a lifetime risk for lung fibrosis and some cancers. Left alone or simply touched, it presents no danger. ...Read more

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What do asbestos look like exactly?

What do asbestos look like exactly?

Small fibers: Small fibers. Asbestos used to be recognized as an ingredient in things like brake linings, wraping for heating and air cond. Pipes in the home and was in many home products. Usually you don't see the dangerous asbestos fibers that cause disease. Asbestos has now been banished from home and products that could expose one to the fibers. ...Read more

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Where exactly do asbestos come from?

Where exactly do asbestos come from?

It is mined: Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined, much like gold, copper and coal. It is composed largely of silicon and has been used for everything from insulation to fire-proofing. When the fibers are inhaled, they can cause significant lung damage and disease. It has been largely banned from building materials in the us. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/asbestos. ...Read more

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1977 apartment, will it have asbestos?

Possibly: Asbestos is not a problem as long as it is covered (like painted over) and is not airborne. Only if you have some work done with breaking loose insulated panels will you have any exposure and that only if it is airborne as dust that you inhale, . There is no risk in fabricated panels. ...Read more

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How can I protect myself from asbestos?

How can I protect myself from asbestos?

Avoid exposure.: Asbestos is only dangerous if it is released into the environment, such that it is inhaled, ingested, or gets on or into the body. Asbestos that is bound up inside another substance only becomes hazardous when that substance is disturbed. Some asbestos occurs naturally outdoors. Fibers are too small to be seen in the air and dust masks don't protect--leave removal to professionals. Don't smoke. ...Read more

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What happens with exposure to asbestos?

What happens with exposure to asbestos?

Typically none: There usually are no symptoms from asbestos exposure until long after permanent damage is done. The small asbestos fibers get lodged in the lung tissues and over time they cause damage that leads to breathing problems. Before there are any symptoms changes can be seen on chest xrays. So it is important to be evaluated by a doctor familiar with this condition (pulmonogist or occupational doctor). ...Read more

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What does minor exposure to asbestos mean?

What does minor exposure to asbestos mean?

No good definition.: There's no quantifiable definition for a "minor exposure" to asbestos. I'd take it to mean contact with clothing, hair or skin of another person that has come into contact with asbestos. Traditionally, the spouses and children of those who've had asbestos exposure and contact through their clothes, we say have had minor (but still significant) exposure. ...Read more

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What will help remove asbestos from my home?

Asbestos removal: You will need to hire a certified team to remove any asbestos.First have it tested to make sure it's really asbestos.Asbestos is most dangerous when removing and it is airborne. ...Read more

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Help with asbestos exposal? What should I do?

Depends: If the exposure is airborne particles over an extended period of time, then you need to see your pulmonologist. If the exposure is just being in an environment with asbestos panels or other sources of contained asbestos, then don't worry. Asbestos is only a problem if inhaled as dust. The concern about asbestos is highly over-rated and is a lawyers dream. ...Read more

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Help please? What is the worst type of asbestos?

Help please? What is the worst type of asbestos?

Crocidolite: Crocidolite- This form of asbestos was used less commonly than other types of asbestos because it isn’t as resistant to heat. Commonly called blue asbestos, crocidolite’s fibers are extremely thin and can thus penetrate human tissues easily. ...Read more

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How to tell if I have i been exposed to asbestos?

How to tell if I have i been exposed to asbestos?

testing work area: There are no easy diagnostic tests. After significant exposures over time there can be changes in the lungs seen on xrays. The only way to know for sure is to test materials that were worked with or have air sampling done in the exposure area. ...Read more

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How can I tell if I have been exsposed to asbestos?

How can I tell if I have been exsposed to asbestos?

Environ testing: Environmental testing is done to establish the presence of asbestos fibers in the air. This document explains things: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3507.pdf ...Read more