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Asbestos in Plaster and Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Master

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Asbestos in Plaster and Other Building Materials
Plaster is a mortar-like substance that is used for a wide variety of purposes including building construction. And finishing, medical care, and even modelling and the arts (including theatrical and film sets). Plaster comes in three main varieties: gypsum (also known as Plaster-of-Paris), lime (employed by visual artists) and cement.

The use of plaster to add fire-resistance to walls and other surfaces was widespread. Plaster acts as a flame retardant by releasing water vapour when exposed to flame. It is also an excellent heat insulator, preventing the transfer of heat to inner surfaces.
In the past, asbestos fibers were frequently added to plaster mix. These fibers were added to improve the flame retardant properties of the material. As asbestos is extremely heat-resistant. Most often, the asbestos used was a type known as white chrysotile.

Tremolite is a form of amphibole asbestos. These fibers are long and stiff, acting like microscopic spears once embedded inside the lung tissue. Tremolite was never commercially mined but is a frequent contaminant of other commercial substances including vermiculite. A common ingredient found in some types of fibrous cement plaster.

Asbestos in Plaster

Asbestos Health Hazards

In the 1930’s initial claims of asbestos being linked to cancer began to circulate throughout the medical community. However, these claims did not truly take root until further testing during the 1960’s. Proved that the mineral causes DNA damage and irritation. When inhaled or ingested by humans. This was devastating news considering the exposure undergone by thousands of people. From those who were employed by asbestos manufacturing plants to those who used the materials on a daily basis. Even families who lived in or people who worked in buildings insulated and tiled with the material were at risk.

Mesothelioma, Cancer & Nonmalignant Diseases

The health hazards of asbestos are now better understood. And range from malignant mesothelioma and cancer to nonmalignant diseases such as pleural plaques or effusions. To a disease named after the mineral itself: asbestosis.
  • Asbestosis is a lung disease characterised by extreme fibrosis. And a very severe medical risk of mesothelioma, or cancer of the pleura, or the membrane that surrounds the lungs.
  • Scientists have gone as far as to study the mineral asbestos to be.tter understand the dangers. And asbestos today is a term for the materials made using the mineral more than for the mineral itself.
  • The asbestos materials release the mineral into the air. Which means those who come in contact with it are at high risk of inhaling or ingesting the fibers.
  • During research, asbestos in plaster materials began to be distinguished into two different types: friable and non-friable.
  • A friable material would be something that can be crushed into a powder by hand. Making that material even more at risk of being inhaled or ingested.
  • Non-friable materials would require extreme non-human force to crush. Making them less risky, but still unsafe. Non-friable materials include tiling and mastics.

Asbestos Protection from Exposure During Flooring/Mastic Removals

  • Tiles and other materials that cannot be crushed into a powder by hand tend to be difficult to shatter. Which means that these materials tend to hold their asbestos fibers inside.
  • Workers who are exposed to asbestos in plaster during flooring/mastic asbestos removals are not at a major risk of inhaling the mineral. But still, are prohibited from using power tools to remove the tiling or mastics.
  • This is a precautionary measure, since using a jackhammer or other tool could potentially obliterate. A hard material into a powder, thus releasing the carcinogenic fibers into the air. A special chemical is used to help remove the remaining mastic after scraping the concrete.
  • In addition to only using hand removal methods. The removal of any asbestos in plaster containing materials will be done. So once the tiling or materials has been gotten wet.
  • This is to further discourage any loose asbestos particles from freely flowing through the air.
  • The removed tiling is treated as hazardous waste and carefully packaged.
  • The materials are methodically disposed of. And no build-up of these toxic materials is permitted at a work site.
  • The people who are doing the work of hand removing the materials will wear protective respiratory gear as well as other protective gear, per government standards.
  • Workers who remove the materials. Are trained and certified to deal with the specifics of asbestos materials removal. As is the contractor from whom they work.

How To Remove Asbestos in plaster?

Locating Qualified Asbestos Contractors
A licensed asbestos removal contractor is essential to the removal of the carcinogenic materials. These professionals have attended classes that have educated them in depth about the dangers. And characteristics of asbestos and they understand the laws. And policies that surround the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. The professional will first come to appraise the property. And inspect the flooring materials to determine what will need to be done throughout the building. While giving a cost to remove asbestos floor tiles.

Asbestos in plaster Survey/Air testing

The initial asbestos in plaster survey of the building will contain a start date. The contractor or specialist will then come up with a personalised. And the methodical way of extracting and properly disposing of the materials. Oftentimes, there will be multiple workers with certifications and training in the proper handling of the materials. And the team will work together to achieve a fast and safe extrication. In addition to all the finer points that ensure a healthy and safe removal. These teams will possess specialized tools and personalised protection gear that offers them greater safety during their work.

 Find Local Surveyors

Hosing down the dangerous asbestos in plaster materials in a planned out and organised way is another professional precaution the licensed asbestos removal specialists will take. Using specialized chemicals and instruments, they will greatly reduce the risk of creating any airborne asbestos fibers. 

Asbestos Removal Cost

The removal of asbestos in plaster is a dangerous procedure with many complicated laws. And practices that are not general knowledge. And should be left to asbestos removal specialists. The professionals in this career field, while educated and certified in the art of asbestos removal. Still risk their health and livelihood in order to eradicate this dangerous material. The cost of asbestos removal and proper legal disposal does not come cheap.

Hazards Associated with Plaster Products

Although the deliberate use of asbestos in plaster mix has been banned in most of the industrialized world. The use of asbestos-containing vermiculite continued for many years. Unfortunately, this type of plaster remains in many older structures. And continues to pose a health threat to building renovators and demolition workers. When intact, the plaster poses the relatively little risk of asbestos exposure. Because the asbestos fibers are held in place by the surrounding material. When the plaster becomes worn, abraded, or scratched. However, the individual fibers can enter the atmosphere and be inhaled. Inhaled asbestos is the primary cause of asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.

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Mesothelioma Master: Asbestos in Plaster and Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Master
Asbestos in Plaster and Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Master
The plaster poses relatively little risk of asbestos in plaster exposure because the asbestos fibers are held in place by the surrounding material.
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