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Friable v/s Non-Friable Asbestos

1. Friable AsbestosThis is the most perilous form of asbestos. Asbestos containing materials are regarded as friable when they contain one percent of asbestos by weight or area. It has airborne nature. When the pressure is applied, friable asbestos which is in a dry state can be easily reduced or pulverized into powder. The fibers can easily get assimilated in the air and inhaled can pass on to the lungs and into the digestive tract. Since it is loosely packed, it is easy to crumble. Friable ACMs are disturbed by water damage, aging, drilling or breakage. Due to these factors fibers are released and are more likely to be inhaled or ingested by humans posing serious health risks. Some ACM are following:

  • Sound proofing and insulation
  • Vinyl sheets
  • Sprayed on fire retardants
  • Thermal lagging - Pipe insulation

2. Non-Friable Asbestos: Non-friable asbestos is referred to asbestos containing material in which asbestos fibers are tightly packed or closely bonded. Since non-friable asbestos containing materials are resistant to damage or abrasion they pose considerably less risk to health than friable asbestos does. They contain up to 15 percent of asbestos. These materials are most commonly found in households, some of them are:

  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Textured paint
  • Plaster patching compounds
  • Corrugates sheets used in walls, ceilings and roofs

Some non-friable asbestos containing materials can transform into friable asbestos over time. For example, cement sheet that has been crushed or disintegrated as a result of exposure to chemical mist. 

Health Conditions Arising from Exposure to Asbestos

People do not necessarily develop ailments as a result of exposure to asbestos; it all depends upon the amount of asbestos present in the air and the period of exposure to asbestos. Those who already have lungs or breathing conditions or those who smoke tobacco are more vulnerable to contract diseases resulting from asbestos.

Asbestos is difficult to eradicate from the body once it has been lodged in lung or body tissues. They cannot be broken down or removed and thus result into diseases:

  • AsbestosisIt is a chronic lung disease which is non-cancerous. In asbestosis, scar-like tissues are formed in the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis) and this fibrosis reduced the elasticity of the lungs due to which it becomes difficult to breathe. A person suffering from asbestosis experience shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound while inhaling, cough, chest pain, finger clubbing and bluish skin coloration.

Asbestosis is fatal as it can lead to cardiac failure. Those who are involved in demolishing and renovating business are more likely to be exposed to asbestos and contract asbestosis.

  • Lung cancerLung cancer may develop after 15 to 35 years of exposure to asbestos and it is the leading cause in many deaths. The symptoms include change in breathing pattern, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath, perpetual chest pain or discomfort, chronic respiratory infections, fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling of face and neck and anemia. These symptoms arise in the last stages of cancer, which makes it difficult to be treated. Workers who work in an asbestos environment and smoke are more likely to develop lung cancer.
  • MesotheliomaIt is a rare kind of cancer which occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart. People who are involved in the installation of asbestos insulation, who work in asbestos mines, mills and factories are at higher risk of developing mesothelioma. 

Asbestos Removal Services

Home owners and business owners may not be aware of asbestos’ presence in their home or business. Professional asbestos testing is the only way to accurately confirm is asbestos is present. Canada’s Restoration Services is an IICRC certified and insured award-winning restoration company. We specialize in asbestos testing and asbestos removal services. Canada’s Restoration Services provides free asbestos inspections nationwide. We service Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton and have completed over 10,000 inspections and jobs. Book your free asbestos inspection today at 1-888-551-0514.


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