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The Home Depot

Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Insulation > Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Like many things formulated in a lab, on the surface this substance seemed like an amazing find. It was a great insulator that practically never caught on fire making it a perfect fire wall and insulator for buildings. Unfortunately, the respiratory effects were not known for years and asbestos has been linked to many fatal or debilitating diseases.


There are a few things that once you understand them, you will understand why asbestos is dangerous. The worst part of asbestos was that once it was discovered to be dangerous it still had to be removed, further endangering people and exposing thousands.

    Asbestos was an attempt to make buildings safer. While it reduced fires significantly, those who designed it had no way of knowing how dangerous it is to us.
  1. 1.Inhaled Fibers Causes Disease

    The inhaled fibers and dust are what cause the diseases linked to asbestos exposure. Many of these diseases have mostly shown up in those who worked with the substance as that often kicked up more fibers or dust for them to inhale. The diseases include: Mesothelioma (always fatal), lung cancer (often fatal), asbestosis (debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening which hardens the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe as you get older.

  2. 2.Diseases take time to Develop

    Asbestos stayed in walls and ceilings for quite awhile. These diseases took a long time to develop and link back to asbestos exposure that allowed more people to be exposed. The asbestos disease outbreak is probably much more extensive due to the long incubation period.

  3. 3.Fibers Enter Easily and Become Trapped

    The fibers of asbestos are easy to inhale but almost impossible for the body to get rid of. They don’t move like other substances so your cells cannot protect you. The cancers likely develop as your body tries to find a way to remove the foreign bodies that are lodged in the mucous areas permanently.

  4. 4.Most Dangerous when Friable

    Friable means easily crumbled and is the most dangerous form of asbestos. When the substance crumbles excess fibers and dust are released into the air and can even make their way through certain types of masks.

  5. 5.Your Physical Health Can Determine Whether You Get Sick or Not

    As with many diseases, you own physical well being plays into whether or not you get sick. Almost anyone with prolonged exposure will feel some sort of ill effect from asbestos, but if you smoke or are extremely young or old you are more likely to develop the related diseases.


    Asbestos was an attempt to make buildings safer. While it reduced fires significantly, those who designed it had no way of knowing how dangerous it is to us. Asbestos and the fallout has made it much more difficult to get substances approved and the testing process has become more complete in order to avoid such problems in the future.

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