Because of its unrivaled characteristics and marketable qualities, asbestos has been used widely since its discovery in the ancient times. Its thermal resistant qualities make it a good component especially for machine room walls. When mixed into slurry, asbestos is effective in retention of heat and protection against fire.
Aside from machine room walls, over 3,000 other products and materials have asbestos, including: textiles, plastics, fireproofing and insulation materials, brake pads, cement and many more. Because of the health hazards it pose to people having contact with asbestos, its common uses gradually declined in the in the late 70’s. In the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s, production was at its peak in the US with over 299 million pounds of asbestos produced annually. It went down to 112 million in 1987, 37 million in 1989 and lowered to 13.2 million pounds in 1999.
Although we have government regulations to thank for the decrease of its manufacturing, asbestos-containing materials are very much present today, some in old homes and buildings and in industrial facilities. Because of this, asbestos still counts as a serious public health hazard. It has been known that workers with heavy exposure to asbestos are the ones who are at most risk to lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. However, there were also findings of asbestos-related diseases in persons who only had a short-term exposure to asbestos.
Studies show that airborne asbestos fibers found in old homes and buildings are lesser when compared to industrial work areas. Serious health risks have been recorded in areas with high levels of asbestos such as machine room walls.
The conditions of asbestos containing materials may vary. The most serious threat comes when asbestos fibers are airborne and this usually happens when building materials, such as machine room walls are in a state of deterioration or damage. To steer clear of lung cancer and asbestosis, it is imperative for people in contact with asbestos to follow safety precautions and avoid disturbing asbestos containing materials.
- Veer away from asbestos materials located on machine room walls.
- Avoid hanging objects in walls with asbestos material.
- Avoid drilling holes in machine room walls with asbestos.
- When replacing light bulbs and doing other maintenance work, make sure not to upset asbestos materials.
- If you discover that asbestos containing materials, such as machine room walls are deteriorating, report it the safety department immediately.
- Steer clear of asbestos fibers and asbestos debris.