Most people are well aware of the negative impacts of asbestos on their health. For centuries this hazardous material has affected the human population, but this risk reaches far beyond contaminating indoor air quality. Far fewer people are aware of asbestos’s effect on the environment, and with construction and demolition projects being performed on older properties, it’s important to become aware of the risk. In this blog, we will discuss the ways asbestos contamination can impact the outdoors.
Asbestos Compromises the Quality of Soil
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance, and it generally doesn’t contribute to soil degradation or negatively impact plant or animal life while underground. However, disturbing the fibers that have been safely contained underground, illegally disposing of asbestos, and improper remodeling or demolition methods can cause the fibers to build upon the surface of the soil. When this occurs, wind can cause dangerous clouds of dust contaminated by asbestos fibers to travel long distances, presenting a risk of asbestos inhalation to both humans and wildlife.
Asbestos Compromises Water Quality
Beyond construction materials, asbestos was also used to fortify drainage systems and cement pipes. While it was successful in performing this duty, it exposed fast-flowing water to contamination due to deterioration. This results in asbestos compromising the quality of rivers and other bodies of water, getting into our and contributing to fiber buildup in soil and drinking water. Due to asbestos’s low biodegrading rate, the fibers don’t breakdown quickly and can remain in your body’s system for a while once consumed, increasing the risk of digestive cancers.
Asbestos Harms Wildlife
Similar to humans, if airborne asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested by wildlife, they can develop respiratory problems, weight loss, and vomiting, or a terminal illness such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Pets are more at risk, as asbestos was widely used in homes, but natural asbestos that has been disturbed or fibers released from improperly contained sites can poison the surrounding wildlife. According to a study by the Purdue School University of Veterinary Medicine, it takes eight years on average for pets to develop mesothelioma, as opposed to 50 years in humans.
As an asbestos abatement company, knowing just how asbestos affects the environment allows us to properly contain and handle the hazardous material. The health of you, your family, and the environment depends on you hiring the right asbestos abatement team. Fiber Control, Inc. has 45 years of experience in our management team, and we’re experts at asbestos encapsulation and removal and other hazardous material remediation. Contact us today if you suspect your property is contaminated.