Where is Asbestos Found? Cross Sections and Diagrams
“Where is asbestos found?” is a common question. Many people are unaware that asbestos is found in many places in the natural environment and is mined from the ground. The term asbestos actually refers to six minerals that are mined: chrysotile, tremolite, amosite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and actinolite. In fact, there is a naturally occurring level of asbestos in the air around us: about 0.00001 to 0.0001 fibers per milliliter, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The measurement of asbestos fibers is important – asbestos tends to break up into fibers that are so tiny that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Asbestos in the Ground, in the Air
Asbestos is essentially found everywhere-in the ground, in the air, and in thousands of products in our living and working environments. It is one of the most effective insulators known, and many building products use asbestos for its heat-, flame- and friction-resistant properties. Although asbestos is found in many areas, the biggest risk for asbestos-related cancer is for those who spend long periods of time exposed to high amounts of the material.
Asbestos Cancer Develops In Your Lungs?
Asbestos fibers are so small that once they are released into the air, they can stay suspended in the air for hours or even for days. The fibers don’t disappear or evaporate, either. They don’t dissolve in water. They don’t break down. They’re very resistant to heat and chemicals. When the fibers are inadvertently inhaled by a human being or an animal, they lodge in the lungs or other internal organs where they can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma cancer, and other diseases.
Asbestos Cancer Exposure Sources at Workplaces and Homes
Asbestos is found in our homes, schools, libraries, theaters, municipal buildings, and more. Because asbestos is a material that is strong and durable, it was once used for many purposes. Common areas where asbestos was used in the past such as drywall, insulation, paper backing, siding, textiles, vinyl and more may still contain asbestos. The mineral is found at especially high levels in several occupational settings, such as:
- Construction sites
- Power plants
- Chemical Plants
- Automotive repair shops (in the brakes and clutches)
- Asbestos product manufacturing sites
- Mining operations
- Steel mills
- Oil refineries
- Sand or abrasive manufacturing sites
Where is Asbestos Found Today?: Laws and Regulations
These previously mentioned locations were once the main sources of asbestos exposure, although today asbestos use has been banned. In areas or career fields where asbestos still remains, such as construction sites and mining operations, there are strict laws and regulations protecting those who come into contact with the areas containing asbestos. Employees who work closely with known sources of asbestos must be provided with protective clothing and respirators. They must also be given the opportunity to shower in efforts to remove asbestos particles from their hair or skin before leaving the workplace. In addition to these precautions, areas with asbestos must be sealed off from the general public. This ensures that the outside world is not exposed to any one of the various sources of asbestos.
Learn More about Asbestos Cancer
If you are concerned about where asbestos is found in your community or workplace, or if you are searching for mesothelioma treatment options, contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers today to speak to an attorney or lawyer that specializes in asbestos exposure.