From 'Miracle Mineral' to one of histories most hazardous substances - Asbestos

Posted by : indra budiman | | Published in

Centuries ago in ancient Greece, the Greeks named asbestos the "miracle mineral," because it was both flexible and tough but also able to withstand high amounts of heat. In fact, "asbestos" itself is a Greek word, meaning "inextinguishable."

Even in ancient times, the Greeks recognized that asbestos was dangerous; slaves who worked with the material experienced damage to their lungs. Over the years, asbestos was made into cloths that wowed the guests of royal Persian and Chinese households.

Beginning with the industrial revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, asbestos became a popular source of insulation due to its fire retardant properties. In 1879, the first asbestos mine opened up in the Appalachian region of Quebec. Asbestos became widely used in the twentieth century as a fire-retardant coating. It's use ranged from inside drywall, common household roofing and extended to products such as outdoor furniture.

Medical practitioners of the early twentieth century began to consider the safety implications that surrounded this commonly used substance. It wasn't until 1906 that the first asbestos related death was recorded. Unfortunately corporate business investments prevented governments to quickly react to the dangers of this substance. In the US, for example, it wasn't until the late 1970s that problems with asbestos came to the public attention, even though the government had known about the health risks posed by asbestos decades earlier.

What Exactly Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that occurs naturally and consists of long, stringy crystal fibres. Asbestos fibres when inhaled can cause serious damage to the lungs and in cases, can lead to mesothelioma (a form of lung cancer that is a result from asbestos exposure), or other forms of caner of the lung, as well as a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs called 'Asbestosis'.

Much thinner than the human hair, the individual fibres of asbestos easily become airborne and find their way into human lungs, eyes, and skin. Without a doubt, extended exposure to this substance leads to serious health risks.

Asbestos in Australia -

In Australia during the post-war period of 1945 to 1980, asbestos was used heavily in construction, shipyards, and power stations. It was also mined in Australia and exported around the world. Although the dangers of the material were already known, it took until the mid-1970s for the use of asbestos to slow down. Today, people exposed to asbestos in Australia thirty or forty years previously are suing mining companies and other industries for asbestos-related illnesses.

Asbestos Removal in Brisbane -

Asbestos removal in Brisbane is big business: several asbestos companies offering Brisbane Asbestos Removal exist to remove asbestos from homes, buildings, and especially asbestos removal from roofs, where asbestos in home construction was concentrated. Roof replacement in Brisbane should be only ever handled by a licensed, fully certified company. Consider that asbestos removal and Brisbane roofing replacement due to asbestos can put families at risk if they are not properly handled, so finding an asbestos removal Brisbane company that is qualified to do this job is of prime importance. As asbestos was a common substance used in roofing, it vital that companies chosen for all roof replacement work should he thoroughly investigated prior to hiring.