The Real Story of Asbestos

More than 4,500 several years ago, Finnish potterymakers discovered a stone made use of thin fibers that mingled really well with the clay theyused to conclude utensils. This stone was so strong, and yet resilient, that they could use it to make their containers thinner and bigger than ever. Plus, it wassurprisingly resistant to heat, so the jackpots could hold things like sizzling metal. It is just like a miracle stone, and eventually, the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all started exercising it, too. That cliff was what we now call asbestos, andeventually, we found out that it was too good to be true and stopped exercising it so much better. But that made a while. The parole asbestos actually has referred to six differentminerals that all have the same habit, or way that their quartzs grow.Theyre called asbestiform, which merely meansthat they flourish in long, thin, resilient fibers. That flexibility, plus their backbone andresistance to shatter by heat and draconian compounds, compiled these minerals unbelievably handy in industry.The problem is, breath asbestos fibers can be dangerous. Because to your lungs, those adaptable fibersare more like sharp-worded little shards. You can probably imagine what happens if youbreathe them in: they get stuck in the mucus stringing of your lungs, which can make it difficultto breathe. Inhale too many shards over occasion, and theycan cause illness 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 rocks called amphiboles, and what procreates them induce morehealth problems than others comes down to four of their chemical and structural properties. First, amphibole fibers are smaller, so theycan wander deeper into the lungs. Theyre too sharper, so they can pierceyour lungs more easily, motiving rash or causing scar tissue. Plus, theyre hydrophobic, or water-avoiding, which can keep them from dissolving in mucus — if they evaporated, they could be coughedup and get out of your system.Finally, they contain iron, which can reactwith oxygen in your lungs and shatter the DNA in your lung cells. The damaged DNA can then procreate the cells todivide too quickly, leading to a tumor. So they may be more carcinogenic, or cancer forming, as well. So, how did asbestos vanish from being the miracle-rockof ancient potters to the scourge of modern industry? Even as far back as the Roman Empire, some2, 000 several years ago, historians wrote about slaves getting what they called a sickness ofthe lungs after working in asbestos ours. And when the first business asbestos minesopened in Quebec in 1879, asbestos-related health publications started establishing up in medicaljournals and action reports. One of the first well-studied demises was in1 924 in the UK. Nellie Kershaw, whod been spinning asbestos into yarn since she was1 3, died at the age of 33 from asbestosis.When Parliament heard about the event, theyasked a doctor known as E. R. A. Merewether to investigate the health of asbestos employees. For two years, he studied 374 craftsmen at anasbestos textile factory. He found that breath asbestos fibers justification scarring in the lungs– and 17 out of 20 workers who had been there for more than 20 times resolved up with asbestosis. Merewether presented his paper to parliamentin 1930, and the UK started necessary breathing in asbestos factories a year later. But it wasnt until 2003 that asbestos wasbanned throughout the European Union. The asbestos industry in the United Statesis a whole other story.Asbestos was exploited a good deal during World War II, since it was cheap, strong, and resistant to fire and substances. Naval war carries usedasbestos isolation, and constructs were constructed with asbestos flooring tiles, shingles, plasters, and isolation for hoses. Production of asbestos in the United Statesfinally started to slow down 1979, when nine asbestos producers filed a litigation againstthe federal government. In 1975, theyd compensate $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 secreting, asbestos-relatedhealth information for decades.The example got a lot of media attention, andpeople started to try to fix the problem by removing asbestos from constructs. But theUS still hasnt wholly restricted the use of asbestos. Even so, asbestos wont case state issuesfor most people. Most of the fibers are so tightly attached intoanother material that they won’t flee into the air unless youre trying to remove theasbestos. Plus, every year we each breathe about a millionfibers really from the natural deterioration of asbestos-containing rock-and-rolls. So unless youre an asbestos employee whosspent a lot of years without a breathing mask, or youre an ancient Finnish potter, you probably dont have to worry about coming an asbestos-related illness.Thanks for watching this bout 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 agree !.

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