What is Asbestos ?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used in a wide variety of products, including insulation of homes and offices because of its heat resistance and flame retardance that this material has. It has been found that even though asbestos has many useful qualities in construction of buildings, thousands of people have died from inhaling asbestos. It is estimated that 2030 people die in Spain by 50,000 asbestos-related cancer since in Spain each year 1,200 people die. Exposure to asbestos has been reflected as the likely cause of a large number of deadly diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma which is a type of cancer that develops in the chest and abdominal cavities. Some people are more likely to suffer illnesses from exposure to asbestos; so for example firefighters, miners, plumbers, factory workers, shipbuilders and construction workers are more susceptible to these diseases that had given exposure to such material and the nature of their work.

They were the characteristics of this material which have been determined and conditioned its widespread use, not in vain asbestos is: thermal, electrical and acoustic insulation; fire resistant to mechanical stresses (friction, tension ...) and to bases and acids; It is soft, flexible and can be fragmented longitudinally invisible fibers or filaments; and it is odorless, tasteless and insoluble in water and organic fluids.

The massive use of asbestos began with the Industrial Revolution began in the mid-eighteenth century, when society was machined to levels never before imagined. The spectacular growth of the combustions in thousands of boilers generated massive fires as never before occurred. That was how the Industrial Revolution transformed asbestos from a curiosity into an essential raw material.

After the Industrial Revolution asbestos use continued to grow, to the point that its features and its low cost of extraction made during the first three quarters of the twentieth century was used to manufacture more than 3,000 different products.

(Cement, boilers, furnaces, fire resistant clothing, machinery, vehicle parts, airplanes, trains and ships, pipes, covers, plates ceilings, boards, floors, roofs, electrical cables, plastics, resins, asphalt, construction elements, boilers, heating systems and air conditioning systems, sound insulation ...) and almost a hundred different industries.

Asbestos must be handled and removed only by specialists. Unfortunately these people who specialize in this type of work are at high risk of contracting diseases related to asbestos because in the complicated process of asbestos removal are exposed to the harmful isolation in which this is. Products containing asbestos can be released to cut, polish or remodel can increase levels of asbestos fibers in the air and threatening to many people who can inhale and even ingest through food. Symptoms caused by the inhalation of asbestos particles, as happens with other health problems, are very difficult to detect. In addition asbestosis and mesothelioma have a long incubation period to the extent that their symptoms do not appear until after 20 or 40 years so that immediate and early detection of the disease is almost impossible. The desamiantadores, workers in factories and construction and any other person who is exposed to asbestos should be aware of the threat to your health and your family can have this material.