For many years, asbestos was praised for its superb heat-resistant capabilities. To this day, no person can argue that fact. Asbestos is very heat-resistant. However, at what cost? Presently, asbestos is known for what it is: a carcinogenic substance. Many have been exposed to the toxic asbestos fibers in many applications. However, none seem quite so invasive as asbestos- containing clothing like asbestos gloves.
Asbestos gloves were used mostly in industries that required the handling of very hot items. Steel plants and glassworks were common places to find asbestos gloves. Even potters made use of asbestos gloves when extracting pots from blazing hot kilns. And while the use of asbestos gloves in these applications no doubt prevented many burns and serious injury, the workers were exposed to asbestos fibers over a long period of time. Studies have shown that the older asbestos gloves are, the more fibers are emitted into the air. As the material breaks down, the fibers scatter and can be inhaled.
Firefighters have also used asbestos gloves because of their superior heat resistance. However, in the past few decades, these gloves have been replaced with modern alternatives made of different materials such as Kevlar.
Asbestos gloves are usually pretty easy to spot because they typically have the word “asbestos” on them. If you are unsure whether or not a pair of old gloves you have contain asbestos, it is best to dispose of them in a responsible way, touching them as little as possible.
Even though asbestos gloves may not emit as many fibers as some other asbestos applications, they are still very dangerous. Asbestos exposure has been shown to cause several different diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, esophageal cancer and mesothelioma. All it takes is the inhalation of one fiber to cause serious problems. The fact of the matter is, once the fibers are in your lungs, they can stay trapped there for years. Much of the time, symptoms from asbestos exposure does not present itself for up to 30 years. However, as with smoking, the more exposure you have over time, the greater your likelihood of developing cancer.
Asbestos gloves and many other asbestos-containing products are dangerous to the human body. Even though most products containing it have been taken off the market, there are still homes that contain various asbestos products, including asbestos gloves. However, by keeping a mindful eye, you can reduce your risk of exposure.