Asbestos: Friable vs. Non-Friable
1. Asbestos that is brittle: Asbestos in this form is the most dangerous. When asbestos-containing materials contain one percent of
asbestos by weight or area, they are considered friable. It’s a flying creature. Friable asbestos in a dry condition may be easily crushed or
pulverised into powder when pressure is applied. The fibres are easily absorbed in the air and can travel through the lungs and digestive
tract if breathed. It’s simple to crumble because it’s loosely packed. Water damage, ageing, drilling, and breaking affect brittle ACMs.
Fibers are released as a result of these circumstances, making them more likely to be breathed or swallowed by people, causing
significant health concerns. The following are some ACM:
Insulation and soundproofing:
Sheets of vinyl
Fire retardants were sprayed on.
Thermal lagging is used to insulate pipes.
2. Non-Friable Asbestos: Non-friable asbestos refers to asbestos-containing materials with firmly packed or securely linked asbestos
fibres. Because non-friable asbestos-containing products are more resistant to damage and abrasion than friable asbestos, they
represent a lower health risk. Asbestos can be found in up to 15% of them. These materials are most often found in homes, and include
Floor tiles made of vinyl
Paint with a textured finish
Plaster repair materials
Corrugated sheets are utilised in the construction of walls, ceilings, and roofs.
Some asbestos-containing products that aren’t friable can turn friable over time. For example, a cement sheet that has been crushed or
dissolved due to chemical mist exposure.
EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS CAUSES HEALTH CONDITIONSPeople do not always acquire illnesses as a result of asbestos exposure;
it all depends on the amount of asbestos in the air and the length of exposure to asbestos. Those who already have lungs or respiratory
problems, or who smoke cigarettes, are more likely to acquire asbestos-related illnesses.
Once asbestos has been trapped in the lungs or other bodily tissues, it is difficult to remove. They are unable to be broken down or
eliminated, resulting in diseases:
Asbestosis is a non-cancerous chronic pulmonary condition. Asbestosis causes scar-like tissues to develop in the lungs (pulmonary
fibrosis), which reduces the flexibility of the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Shortness of breath, a dry cracking sound when
breathing, cough, chest discomfort, finger clubbing, and bluish skin colouring are all symptoms of asbestosis.
Asbestosis is deadly because it causes heart failure. Workers who demolish and renovate buildings are more likely to be exposed to
asbestos and develop asbestosis.
Lung cancer can occur after 15 to 35 years of asbestos exposure and is the primary cause of mortality in many people. Changes in
breathing pattern, blood in the cough, shortness of breath, constant chest pain or discomfort, persistent respiratory infections, exhaustion,
lack of appetite, swelling of the face and neck, and anaemia are all signs. These symptoms appear in the late stages of cancer, making
treatment challenging. Lung cancer is more likely to occur in those who work with asbestos and smoke.
Mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer that affects the lungs, chest, abdomen, and the heart’s thin membrane lining. People who work in
asbestos mines, mills, and factories, as well as those who install asbestos insulation, are at a greater risk of getting mesothelioma.