What are the Harmful effect of Asbeston?

The Harmful effect of Asbeston has the following effects:  

Incorporation of asbestos fibres in the lung tissues causes a lung disease known as asbestosis. Once inhaled, the asbestos particles get embedded in the lung tissues for long periods (20-30 years) and the victim’s outer lining of the lungs gets thickened; thereby, decreasing the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange capacity and the elasticity of the lungs. The victim becomes short of breath and eventually dies of heart failure. It is found that workers engaged in asbestos industries (e.g. mining, cleaning and weaving) are more prone to suffer from asbestosis. This disease is incurable.

Cancer Workers in industries dealing with the use of asbestos such as, in building, construction, mining, manufacture of brakes and repair of clutches of automobiles face 50% chances of dying from cancer. Since cancer symptoms do not appear (or arise) until 20 — 30 years after being exposed to asbestos, various agencies could not recognise the dangers posed by the use of asbestos.

When inhaled, the fine particles of asbestos dust are lodged in the lungs and damage the cells therein. Prolonged heavy exposure increases a person’s risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer of thin membrane that line chest and abdomen. Some developed countries have banned the use of asbestos in any form. However, some developing and under developed nations have still not banned the use of asbestos completely.

Iron metabolism Certain varieties of asbestos contain appreciable amount of iron (25 — 26%). Though iron is essential for life, its excessive built up is In the body, iron forms chelate with citrate ion; these chelates enter the cells and ferrous iron reacts with oxygen producing molecular oxygen radicals (O2). These radicals create havoc; these oxidise DNA and proteins and cause damage to proteins. This leads to carcinogenesis.

Checking Asbestos Pollution

Asbestos is most harmful in the form of dust. It is not possible to prevent atmospheric pollution, but one can take adequate precautions so that one does not inhale asbestos dust as far as possible. For example, workers who deal with asbestos must wear masks in order to prevent inhalation.

Asbestos sheets, if used must be coated with dust-proof membranes, such as paints or plastics or keeping the sheets wet while handling; this reduces the One should not be exposed to asbestos dust for long.

Asbestos dust arising out of cleaning brake lining should be cleaned by vacuum extraction procedure or with a damp rag.

Children are more susceptible to asbestos pollution than adults. This is especially important because in old buildings of schools, the roofs and tiles are made from asbestos. It is best to find such buildings and the places in which asbestos is present and these must he coated with polyvinyl chloride spray.

As far as possible, the use of asbestos should be avoided. In its place, clothing made from nylon and wool blends (these provide heat and fire protection) should be used. For insulation, ceramic fibres can be used as a substitute for asbestos. Moulding of phenol-formaldehyde can be used in place of asbestos in electrical insulation materials. Also, glass fibre reinforced cement is a good substitute for asbestos based building materials.

Tags: B.Sc

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