We are certainly very familiar with asbestos material as one of the main ingredients of our home construction activities, especially for home ceilings. The use of this material is certainly not limited to this interest. In the world the use of asbestos is much more limited not only to the ceiling of the house. And unfortunately, it turns out based on research, this asbestos material is harmful to health and carcinogenic. Some elements of asbestos can be inhaled when we breathe, enter the lungs and are at risk of cancer. Because of this nature in some developed countries (America and Europe), the use of this asbestos material has begun to be banned !!!
Actually asbestosis is not cancer. Asbestosis is caused by someone breathing in asbestos fibers which irritate the lung tissue, causing injury to the lung tissue. This scar tissue results in breathing difficulties because the process of oxygen and carbon dioxide is difficult through the lungs. Asbestosis is generally slow. The latency period for the onset of asbestosis is usually 10-20 years after initial exposure. This disease can vary from asymptomatic (asymptomatic) to get fatal consequences for health. Some signs and symptoms of asbestosis can include: Shortness of breath as the main symptom, coughing, chest tightness, chest pain, loss of appetite, dry crackling in the lungs when breathing air.
But what is Asbestos actually? The following are the various properties and characteristics of asbestos materials that we know are important.
Asbestos is the name of a group of fibrous minerals with separate, long and thin fibers. Asbestos fibers have a strong potential to be released in the air. Asbestos fibers are heat resistant, so they are widely used for industrial purposes. Because of their durability, asbestos fibers that enter the lung tissue will remain to survive in the lungs for a long time.
In general there are two types of asbestos, amphibole and chrysotile. Some studies show that amphibole fiber has the ability to stay longer in the lungs than chrysotile. Based on the tendency, so this type of material is toxic to the body.
Meanwhile, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are six types of asbestos minerals, with the most types namely chrysotile and five types of amphibole groups, namely actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and amosite.
Threshold value of asbestos concentration in ambient air ranges from 00001-0,0001 fiber per milliliter (fiber / mL). If this threshold value is exceeded it will be very risky to the effects on human health.
Asbestos fibers can only be seen with a microscope. Because of something because, causing the fibers to float in the air, they can easily be inhaled when we breathe and enter the lungs. Scientists have recognized asbestos as a health threat to humans because fiber can be inhaled into the lungs and can cause cancer and other lung diseases. This risk is mainly increased when we are in an environment exposed to asbestos dust for a long time. It is known the incubation period is the time lag between when inhaling so that health manifestations can last for 30 years or more.
Asbestos Exposure in the Work Environment.
Various work environments are at risk of increasing exposure to asbestos dust, some of which include: Industrial products with asbestos raw materials (insulation materials, roofs, buildings), Automotive industry (brakes & clutches), oil refineries, power plants, shipyards, steel mills, workers demolition, workers in asbestos products factories, masons, building supervisors, carpenters, furnace workers, plumbers, and others.
Some of the advantages of asbestos materials are widely used for industrial purposes, partly because asbestos fiber absorbs only a little water, is very resistant to heat and fire, resistant to acids, conductors of electricity and ugly heat, resistant to friction and weather, able to absorb sound. Asbestos fibers are used for mixing roofing materials, packaging materials, heat and fire retaining materials and brake and clutch coating materials.
If we have worked for a long time in an environment with a high risk of exposure to asbestos, it is advisable to consult with a doctor with expertise in the management and evaluation of lung disease due to asbestos !!!
Based on the conclusions of observations of the disease in the group of workers with asbestos cumulative exposure of 5 – 1,200 fiber-year / mL, it was found that significant exposure to all types of asbestos would increase the risk of various diseases such as lung cancer, lung mesothelioma, non malignant pleural disorders , including asbestosis, pleural plaque, pleural thickening, and pleural effusion. This exposure will result from 40 years of exposure to air concentrations