Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, and it has been the center of global health concerns for decades due to its serious damage to human health. Having earned a reputation as a hazardous health risk, this material may make you wonder—is asbestos still used in construction today? Answer this question with us, and become familiar with the history of this substance, its worldwide use, and the risks associated with exposure.
The History of Asbestos in Construction
Asbestos was common in the construction industry throughout the 20th century due to its excellent insulation, fire resistance, and tensile strength properties. We did not understand the harmful effects of asbestos until the mid-1900s when an increasing number of cases linked asbestos exposure to serious health problems like lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos fibers are microscopic and can easily become airborne when materials containing asbestos are disturbed. Once inhaled, these fibers lodge in the lungs or mesothelium, causing irritation and scarring. These problems can lead to severe respiratory diseases and even cancer. Symptoms may not appear for several decades after exposure, leaving many people unaware they’ve been exposed until it’s too late.
Regulatory Measures and Asbestos Remediation
Many countries around the world have enacted strict regulations to protect people from asbestos exposure in response to public concerns. Asbestos is now banned in 55 nations! The United States, however, has not entirely banned the use of this substance but has implemented stringent regulations that restrict its application.
Asbestos remediation creates safe living and working environments. It involves identifying, containing, and removing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from buildings. Licensed professionals, like Redline Emergency Solutions, conduct inspections, testing, and asbestos removal according to strict safety guidelines to minimize the risk of exposure.
Current State of Asbestos in Construction
Today, professionals in the construction industry are highly aware of the risks associated with asbestos. Luckily, its use has drastically declined. The global community has embraced alternative materials such as cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool for similar insulating and fire-resistant properties without adverse health risks.
Still wondering if asbestos is still used in construction today? In most places, the answer is no. National regulations and safety measures aim to phase out its use in favor of safer alternatives. However, it’s important to remain vigilant, especially in regions where asbestos regulations are not so strict. Always take safety precautions when renovating or demolishing old buildings, as asbestos might lurk within the building materials.
The dangerous effects of asbestos exposure cannot be overstated. Vigilance can ensure the continued reduction of asbestos-related health risks across the globe.