Asbestos is a material that most people have heard of before. It is often mentioned when talking about construction or home renovations. Although you may have heard about asbestos before, do you know exactly what it is? Do you know what makes up the material we call asbestos? If you don’t, but would like to know about these elements of asbestos, read on!
Asbestos is actually the name for a group of six different types of materials. It may be shocking, but there is not just one type of asbestos. Many people get this aspect of asbestos confused and think that there is only one form that asbestos comes in. This is simply not true. Asbestos comes in up to six different types and forms. Each one of these is unique, but they do share some similarities. Although the six different types differ in color and the severity of damage that they do, what they all have in common is that they are made up of fibrous minerals. Yes, although asbestos may appear to be completely solid when you look at it with the naked eye, a close up of the material tells a different story. When you look at a magnified view of asbestos, you will clearly be able to see the tiny little fibers that asbestos is made up of. If you manipulate the mineral by hand, you may also be able to see the little fibers separate and create a cloud of dust. This is obviously not dust, however, it is actually the little fibers that make up the mineral. That is what makes the asbestos mineral so incredibly dangerous. These little fibers are the culprits of all of the diseases and cancers caused by asbestos. When looking at them, they may appear harmless, but they are not. In this way, they are similar to fiberglass. Fiberglass insulation may look fluffy and harmless, but touching it will show immediate irritation. It can also lead to eye irritation, which is why many construction workers have to wear eye protection when handling fiberglass. While fiberglass can show immediate irritation, asbestos usually doesn’t show immediate irritation. Asbestos is a lot sneakier. Due to the extremely small fibers, it is able to affect your cells without you even noticing.
Asbestos is also known for being a good quality, heat resistant insulator. In the history of asbestos use, it was commonly used as an insulator. As you can see from its heat resistant abilities, it would make a very good insulator. Heat resistance is one of the most important aspects of insulation. Without heat resistance, what would be the point of your insulation? Having heat resistance also helped the asbestos from catching fire, which is very useful in houses. Obviously, no one wants their home to catch on fire. Asbestos was able to help with that.
Now that you know a little bit about asbestos, hopefully you will go into the world a little bit more educated on the construction industry and one of its greatest threats in history!