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Understanding Asbestos: What It Is and Why It’s Dangerous


Asbestos is a term that has become synonymous with danger, but what exactly is it, and why should you be concerned? This comprehensive guide will help you understand the basics of asbestos, its history, the risks it poses, and the importance of professional removal services such as those offered by YYC Asbestos Removal.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have been widely used in various industries due to their resistance to heat, electricity, and corrosion. The six main types of asbestos are chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite. Among these, chrysotile (white asbestos) is the most commonly used form.

History of Asbestos Use

Asbestos has been used for thousands of years, but its popularity surged during the industrial revolution. Its heat-resistant properties made it ideal for use in construction materials, automotive parts, and even household items. It was not until the late 20th century that the serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure became widely recognized.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

The danger of asbestos lies in its microscopic fibers. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, they release tiny fibers into the air. These fibers can be inhaled or ingested, leading to severe health issues.

Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure

  1. Asbestosis: This chronic lung condition is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, leading to lung tissue scarring and difficulty breathing.
  2. Lung Cancer: Prolonged exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing lung cancer, especially among smokers.
  3. Mesothelioma: This rare form of cancer affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen. It is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure.
  4. Other Cancers: Asbestos exposure has also been linked to cancers of the larynx, ovaries, and gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Diseases

Symptoms may take years or even decades to appear after exposure. They include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss

Identifying Asbestos in Your Home

Asbestos was widely used in building materials before the 1980s. Common household items that may contain asbestos include:

  • Insulation
  • Roofing shingles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Floor tiles
  • Pipe cement

If your home was built before 1980, it’s crucial to consider the potential presence of asbestos.

Importance of Professional Asbestos Testing

Identifying asbestos is not a DIY task. Professional testing is essential to determine the presence and extent of asbestos in your home. YYC Asbestos Removal offers comprehensive asbestos testing services in Calgary to ensure your safety.

Why Asbestos Should Be Professionally Removed

Given the severe health risks, asbestos removal should always be handled by professionals. Here’s why:

Safety Precautions

Professional asbestos removal teams use specialized equipment and follow strict safety protocols to prevent the release of asbestos fibers during the removal process.

Legal Compliance

Asbestos abatement is regulated to ensure public safety. Professional companies are well-versed in these regulations and ensure compliance, protecting you from legal and health risks.

Effective Removal

Professionals ensure that all asbestos is thoroughly removed and properly disposed of, reducing the risk of future exposure. YYC Asbestos Removal provides expert asbestos abatement services in Calgary to help you maintain a safe living environment.

The Process of Asbestos Abatement

Asbestos abatement involves several critical steps:

  1. Inspection and Testing

The process begins with a thorough inspection and testing to identify asbestos-containing materials.

  1. Containment

To prevent the spread of asbestos fibers, the affected area is sealed off using plastic sheeting and negative air pressure systems.

  1. Removal

Trained professionals carefully remove asbestos-containing materials, using wet methods to minimize fiber release.

  1. Cleanup

After removal, the area is cleaned with specialized HEPA vacuums to ensure no fibers remain.

  1. Disposal

Asbestos waste is double-bagged, labeled, and transported to approved disposal sites.

Choosing the Right Asbestos Removal Company

When selecting an asbestos removal company, consider the following factors:

Experience and Certification

Ensure the company has extensive experience and proper certification for asbestos abatement. YYC Asbestos Removal is a trusted name in Calgary, known for its expertise and adherence to safety standards.

Comprehensive Services

Choose a company that offers a full range of services, from testing to removal and disposal. This ensures a seamless process and consistent quality.

Customer Reviews

Check customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the company’s reputation and service quality.

Conclusion: Protecting Your Health and Home

Understanding the dangers of asbestos and the importance of professional removal is crucial for protecting your health and home. If you suspect the presence of asbestos, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. YYC Asbestos Removal offers reliable and comprehensive services to ensure your safety. For more information or to schedule an inspection, visit their contact page.

Asbestos exposure is a serious health hazard, but with the right knowledge and professional assistance, you can mitigate the risks and ensure a safe living environment for you and your loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late—take action today to safeguard your health and home.


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