What is asbestos and how is it harmful?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral found in rock and soil. Due to its long and fine structure, asbestos fibers are strong and heat resistant, making it a valuable element in building materials. Asbestos is 1,200 times thinner than human hair, can suspend in the air for a long period of time, and can be easily inhaled if the contaminated material is disturbed. Long-term effects of asbestos inhalation can cause damage to the lungs, leading to diseases such as lung cancer, esothelioma, and asbestosis. It can take 10-30 years after exposure for symptoms to be perceptible, so it is important to test suspected materials as soon as possible.
The only way to accurately identify asbestos is to conduct a laboratory analysis of the suspected material. Always err on the side of caution. If you suspect there could be asbestos in your home or workplace, have the material analyzed immediately.