For many years, asbestos was one of the most commonly-used construction materials because it was cost-efficient, durable and was a great fireproof insulator. Over time though, we learned that when the super-fine asbestos fibers, which can’t be seen by the naked eye, are disturbed, they can be inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos exposure can cause serious health problems, including: 

  • lung cancer 
  • mesothelioma: a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and other organs 
  • asbestosis: scarring of the lungs 
  • pleural effusion: fluid buildup around the lungs 
  • chronic respiratory symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and weight loss. 

It is also associated with an increased risk of other cancers such as gastrointestinal, esophageal, laryngeal, kidney, ovarian or brain cancers. Asbestos has been linked to other illnesses such as non-malignant pleural disease and immune system changes. Once it’s been discovered and disturbed, there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Any amount may increase the risk of serious health problems. 

Get professional help to safeguard yourself from asbestos 

The production of materials with asbestos was banned decades ago, but houses continued to be built with products containing the dangerous mineral up until the late 1980s. If you are planning demolition or renovation to a house built before 1990, be on the lookout for asbestos-containing materials. If you find anything that you suspect has asbestos, do not try to remove it yourself; all the materials in the area must be tested before anything is disturbed. The asbestos removal professionals in Ottawa have special equipment and training to remediate the situation safely and completely. 

If you are exposed to asbestos, tell your doctor right away so they can monitor your health and provide necessary treatment. Early diagnosis and medical monitoring can help reduce the risk of serious health problems from developing as a result of exposure to this potentially dangerous material. Knowing about the risks associated with exposure to asbestos allows individuals to take proactive steps in protecting themselves and their loved ones from harm.