The Real Story of Asbestos

More than 4,500 years ago, Finnish potterymakers detected a stone made use of thin fibers that mixed really well with the clay theyused to spawn containers. This stone was so strong, and hitherto adaptable, that they could use it to make their toilets thinner and bigger than ever. Plus, it wassurprisingly resistant to heat, so the pots could contain things like sizzling metal. It seemed like a miracle stone, and eventually, the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all started using it, more. That boulder was what we now call asbestos, andeventually, we found out that it was too good to be true and stopped utilizing it so much better. But that took a while. The command asbestos actually refers to six differentminerals that all have the same habit, or road that their crystals proliferate. Theyre called asbestiform, which time meansthat they develop in long, thin, adaptable fibers. That opennes, plus their backbone andresistance to shatter by hot and cruel substances, acquired these minerals incredibly helpful in industry.The difficulty is, breath asbestos fibers can be dangerous.Because to your lungs, those adaptable fibersare more like sharp little shards. You are likely imagine what happens if youbreathe them in: they get stuck in the mucus ordering of your lungs, which can make it difficultto breathe. Inhale too many shards over time, and theycan cause sickness like asbestosis, or disfiguring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a type oflung cancer. The forms of asbestos with the highest healthrisks are a part of a group of cliffs called amphiboles, and what stirs them justification morehealth issues than others comes down to four of their chemical and structural belongings. First, amphibole fibers are smaller, so theycan cros deeper into the lungs. Theyre too sharper, so there is an opportunity pierceyour lungs more easily, stimulating rednes or making blemish tissue. Plus, theyre hydrophobic, or water-avoiding, which can keep them from melting in mucus — if they dissolved, they could be coughedup and get out of your system.Finally, they contain iron, which are capable of reactwith oxygen in your lungs and impairment the DNA in your lung cells. The damaged DNA can then make the cadres todivide too quickly, leading to a tumor. So they may be more carcinogenic, or cancer assembling, as well. So, how did asbestos move from being the miracle-rockof ancient potters to the scourge of modern manufacture? Even as far back as the Roman Empire, some2, 000 years ago, historians wrote about slaves getting what they called a sickness ofthe lungs after working in asbestos mines. And when the first commercial asbestos minesopened in Quebec in 1879, asbestos-related health issues started demonstrating up in medicaljournals and occurrence reports.One of the first well-studied fatalities was in1 924 in the UK. Nellie Kershaw, whod been spinning asbestos into recital since she was1 3, died at the age of 33 from asbestosis. When Parliament heard about the dispute, theyasked a doctor known as E. R. A. Merewether to investigate the health of asbestos proletarians. For two years, he studied 374 proletarians at anasbestos textile plant. He found that breath asbestos fibers compelled scarring in the lungs– and 17 out of 20 workers who had been there for more than 20 years pointed up with asbestosis. Merewether presented the working paper to parliamentin 1930, and the UK started expecting breathing in asbestos mills a year later. But it wasnt until 2003 that asbestos wasbanned right across the european union. The asbestos industry in the United Statesis a whole other story.Asbestos was worked a great deal during World War II, since it was cheap, strong, and resistant to fire and chemicals. Naval war carries usedasbestos separation, and builds were constructed with asbestos storey tiles, shingles, cements, and isolation for pipings. Production of asbestos in the United Statesfinally started to slow down 1979, when nine asbestos manufacturers filed a dispute againstthe federal government. In 1975, theyd give $69,000 to an asbestosworker who developed asbestosis, and they wanted to be reimbursed. But the government wouldnt have any ofthat. Instead, they proved that the companies known about, and had been obscuring, asbestos-relatedhealth information for decades. The occurrence was a lot of media attention, andpeople started to try to fix the problem by removing asbestos from structures. But theUS still hasnt alone banned the purpose of applying asbestos. Even so, asbestos wont stimulate state issuesfor most people. Most of the fibers are so tightly tied intoanother material that they won’t flee into the air unless youre trying to remove theasbestos. Plus, each year we each breathe about a millionfibers just from the natural erosion of asbestos-containing rocks.So unless youre an asbestos laborer whosspent a good deal of years without a breathing disguise, or youre an ancient Finnish potter, you probably dont have to worry about coming an asbestos-related illness. Thanks for watching this escapade of SciShow, which was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support thisshow, just go to patreon.com/ scishow. And dont forget to go to youtube.com/ scishowand subscribe !.

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