Regardless of the type of building, if the construction occurred before the mid-1970s, there’s a good chance asbestos was involved in some way. Asbestos is one of the most heat-resistant materials on earth, but problems arose when it was discovered that is is also one of the most hazardous. Exposure to asbestos is not only dangerous, but potentially deadly.
Asbestos is a prominent ingredient in older bonding cement concoctions. Bonding cement is used to hold insulation in place for stucco, as well as other household applications. Anyone living in a home with asbestos bonding cement is at risk, but those who worked with the material, whether in industrial job site or an at-home repair, are in greater danger.
Bonding cement in place is fine most of the time. However, if the material is damaged in any way, the microscopic fibers that make up asbestos can be sent into the air and be inhaled. These fibers can become lodged in the lungs, which, over time, causes inflammation and ultimately a number of diseases.
Several types of cancer can be attributed to asbestos exposure (including the kind found in older bonding cement). Lung cancer is an obvious one, but stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, and others are also attributed to exposure.
While rare, mesothelioma is another type of cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. It attacks the lining of the heart, lungs, or abdomen. Symptoms can take up to 30 years to develop. Since the symptoms appear at such a late stage in the disease, treatment options are often limited. The symptoms of mesothelioma include pain in the chest or abdomen, bowel obstruction, weight loss, fatigue, edema, cough, and shortness of breath. Treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Protecting you and your family from asbestos exposure is of the utmost importance. Whether in the form of bonding cement or insulation, asbestos is a dangerous material that you need to keep an eye on.