Asbestos: dangers and symptoms of exposure

Between the 1950s and the 1990s, asbestos, a naturally occurring and dangerous mineral, was extensively used in various building materials. So, it is likely that any homes built during this time frame have asbestos. When disturbed, it can become extremely to people who inhale the small fibers.

Companies like Progressive Environmental Inc. in Vancouver are there to locate and remove asbestos. But to keep you and your family extra safe, it is important to be informed about the risks and potential symptoms of any exposure to asbestos: 

When is it dangerous?

Because asbestos was used in so many building materials, it can be hard to locate exactly where it is hiding. However, the real risk occurs when asbestos is disturbed, and small fibers are released into the air. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers become trapped in the nose, throat or lungs, which can lead to health problems.

When it comes to exposure to asbestos, there is no definitive “safe level.” The longer people are exposed and the more frequently, the more at risk they will be to health problems. The more serious problems of exposure can result in lung cancer or mesothelioma, a rarer form of cancer. However, developing either would require large quantities of fibers to be inhaled over long-term exposure.

Symptoms of exposure

The earliest symptoms of exposure typically show in the lungs, as long-term exposure leads to lung cancer. The most common signs are shortness of breath, coughing and chest pains. Asbestos can also affect the body, leading to symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, unusual weight loss or loss of appetite. Longer exposure over the course of many years can lead to developing diseases or cancer.

Pinpointing symptoms of asbestos can be hard, especially because the earlier symptoms are less obvious. If you think you have any symptoms, it is always better to call a professional and have them check your home, than wait and risk more serious health problems. Read more about asbestos symptoms and treatment for related diseases.

When to check for asbestos?

If you are planning on demolishing or renovating your home, first check the year it was built. Any homes built between the 1950s and 1990s should be checked for asbestos, as a safety precaution. Likewise, if you think you are experiencing any symptoms of exposure, it is better to call a professional. Even if asbestos has not been released, a major renovation could disturb or damage any potential asbestos-containing materials and release them. Things such as water damage, aging or physical impact from renovation related actions, could cause a release.

When a professional is called, they will take samples from all possible asbestos-containing materials and send them off for testing. If any is found, then the next steps are taken to safely remove the asbestos.

Asbestos Removal in Vancouver

When it comes to removing or checking for harmful asbestos in your home, there is no one better than the professionals at Progressive Environmental Inc. Their first priority with their services is always to keep you and your family safe, and ensure you always have peace of mind.

Contact Progressive Environmental Inc. today for any asbestos tests or removals.

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