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Asbestos - From'Miracle Mineral'to'Health Hazard'

Asbestos in the Ancient Greek civilisation translates to'inextinguishable '. Even through the fibre had been recognised by the Ancient Greeks as damaging to the lungs, due to it's practical application it became widely employed for a range of purposes. These ranged from fibres woven into slaves garments, cremation shrouds made limited to the royalty and society's most respectable to simple everyday household items such as for example napkins and wicks for oil lamps.

Even yet 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 created into cloths that wowed the guests of royal Persian and Chinese households.

You start with the industrial revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, asbestos became a favorite supply of insulation due to its fire retardant properties. In 1879, the very first asbestos mine exposed in the Appalachian region of Quebec. Well to the twentieth century, asbestos was used as a fire-retardant coating in a wide selection of places, from inside drywall to roofing and lawn furniture.

Medical practitioners of the first twentieth century began to take into account the safety implications that surrounded this commonly used substance. It wasn't until 1906 that the first asbestos related death was recorded. Yet, because of corporate business interests, the governments of the planet were very slow to prevent the production of asbestos. Even thought for many years the American government was alert to the health problems connected with the usage of asbestos, it wasn't before the late 1970s that this information stumbled on the public's attention.

What Exactly Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is just a silicate mineral occurring naturally and includes long, stringy crystal fibres. Inhaling these toxic fibres causes serious lung damage, ultimately causing mesothelioma (a kind of lung cancer nearly always produced from asbestos exposure), other designs of lung cancer, and asbestosis, a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs.

Asbestos fibres are much thinner compared to the human hair. These fibres are highly dangerous as they could easily become airborne and find their way into the eyes, skin and lungs. Certainly, extended exposure to the substance leads to serious health risks.

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