Asbestos fibers is silently killing construction workers, others – study

Technology News


Are you exposed to asbestos regularly? Then this may interest you.

Exposure to asbestos fibers has been linked to the leading cause of mesothelioma cancer among construction and other blue-collar workers.

“Those at high risk of developing mesothelioma are blue-collar workers, veterans, and family members of those regularly exposed to asbestos fibers. Firefighters, construction workers, power plant workers, shipyard workers, and others are at high risk of occupational asbestos exposure, said Safe Food & Feed Foundation.

It reported that Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor caused by inhaled asbestos fibers.

“It usually affects the lining of the lungs, however, mesothelioma tumors can also form on the linings of the abdomen, heart, and testes.”

The report said that pleural mesothelioma is the most common form, accounting for 75% of all cases. It affects the lining of the lungs, and symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain, dry coughing, and more.

The second more common type is peritoneal mesothelioma, which forms in the lining of the abdomen. Although less common, other forms of mesothelioma include pericardial (heart), and testicular mesothelioma.

Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring minerals composed of soft, flexible fibers. It was previously used in many consumer products due to its heat resistance.

Due to its long latency period, about 20-50 years, most patients are diagnosed in their late 60’s. Men also account for a majority of mesothelioma diagnoses.

Interventions for Mesothelioma can involve clinical trials,   conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery as well as alternative therapies.”

Why asbestos has been banned as a roofing material in most advanced countries.

Asbestos according to history was derived Greek word ἄσβεστος meaning “unquenchable”, it is a form of minerals and hydrous silicate of magnesium and is currently used as one of the most patronized roofing material in Nigeria. The use of asbestos as a roofing material has since been banned in other countries because it has been linked to the source of most diseases.

These diseases were said to have been contacted through human exposure to the fibers which are light and easily dispersed by air. Diseases such as Asbestos are (caused as a result of human inhalation of particles of asbestos), Mesothelioma, and lung cancer.

There are two major classes-‘amphiboles & serpentines’ the serpentines constituting 95% of major world supplies.

On several occasions employees directly earning a living by selling asbestos products have always come out to defend it especially in less informed countries, it was noted that the first case of its harmful nature was discovered a long while ago after some group of underground miners was exposed to raw fibers. This has led to the western countries banning the use, especially in homes.

Uses of Asbestos

Asbestos usage is wide from fabrics, textiles molded goods (pipes and gaskets), building construction materials (missile and jet parts, paints, brake lining, fibro cement, insulation product, fireproofing product, floor covering, ceiling tiles and roofing materials which are mostly used in Nigeria. (asbestos cement, corrugated and flat sheets, and for thermal (heat) and acoustic insulation).

In Nigeria 95% of the population still makes use of asbestos, all though there have not been reported cases of the effects of these fibers on people’s health, countries that directly do the mining have had more negative stories about the product.

We may have been drinking rainwater channeled into our tanks from the asbestos roof for years and notice no negative effects on our health but it was reported that the effect can be noticed at times after 30 years of its infection.

Hence the rate of infection and when it is going to show depends on the rate at which you inhale the fibers to your lungs.

Asbestos can also be contacted through renovation, demolition of buildings, and roofing works.

Best alternatives to Asbestos In Nigeria

In Nigeria is mainly used for ceiling and roof, it may be difficult to fully replace it in every home due to the cost of the alternatives.

The mineral fiberboard for the suspended ceiling, the P.O.P, or finished plywood is way too expensive as a substitute for the common man. The aluminum roof is also on the very high side as well and the traditional zinc materials are just too unappealing and outdated for a lot of people to consider.

But some products are now been worked on that are cheaper to acquire like painted galvanized zinc and others will also be brought to your notice later.

With an additional report by Industrial Digest 

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