The Real Story of Asbestos

More than 4,500 year ago, Finnish potterymakers discovered a stone made of thin fibers that desegregated really well with the clay theyused to perform pots. This stone was so strong, and yet adaptable, that they could use it to make their flowerpots thinner and bigger than ever. Plus, it wassurprisingly resistant to heat, so the cups could contain things like red-hot metal. It seemed like a miracle stone, and eventually, the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all started exercising it, too.That rock was what we now call asbestos, andeventually, we found out that it was too good to be true and stopped exploiting it so much better. But that made a while. The command asbestos actually refers to six differentminerals that all have the same habit, or course that their quartzs germinate. Theyre called asbestiform, which only meansthat they grow in long, thin, flexible fibers. That flexible, plus their fortitude andresistance to expense by hot and harsh compounds, performed these minerals fantastically helpful in industry.The problem is, inhaling asbestos fibers can be dangerous. Because to your lungs, those flexible fibersare more like sharp-witted 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 maladies like asbestosis, or disfiguring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a type oflung cancer.The forms of asbestos with the most prominent healthrisks are a part of a group of rock-and-rolls called amphiboles, and what realizes them generate morehealth matters than others comes down to four of their chemical and structural owneds. First, amphibole fibers are smaller, so theycan wandering deeper into the lungs. Theyre too sharper, so they are able to pierceyour lungs more easily, compelling inflammation or composing blemish material. Plus, theyre hydrophobic, or water-avoiding, which can keep them from terminating in mucus — if they terminated, they could be coughedup and get out of your organization. Eventually, they contain iron, which are capable of reactwith oxygen in your lungs and detriment the DNA in your lung cells. The damaged DNA can then reach the cells todivide too quickly, leading to a tumor.So they may be more carcinogenic, or cancer constituting, as well. So, how did asbestos run from being the miracle-rockof ancient potters to the scourge of modern manufacture? Even as far back as the Roman Empire, some2, 000 year ago, historians wrote about slaves going what they called a sickness ofthe lungs after working in asbestos excavations. And when the first commercial asbestos minesopened in Quebec in 1879, asbestos-related health topics started evidencing up in medicaljournals and occurrence reports. One of the first well-studied deaths was in1 924 in the UK. Nellie Kershaw, whod been spinning asbestos into yarn since she was1 3, died at persons under the age of 33 from asbestosis. When Parliament heard about the bag, theyasked a doctor known as E. R. A. Merewether to investigate the health of asbestos employees. For two years, he studied 374 laborers at anasbestos textile plant. He pointed out that inhaling asbestos fibers started scarring in the lungs– and 17 out of 20 workers who had been there for more than 20 times dissolved up with asbestosis. Merewether portrayed his paper to parliamentin 1930, and the UK started necessary ventilation in asbestos plants 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 used a lot during World War II, since it was cheap, strong, and resistant to fire and substances. Naval war carries usedasbestos insulation, and constructs were constructed with asbestos floor tiles, shingles, cements, and isolation for tubes. Production of asbestos in the United Statesfinally started to slow down 1979, when nine asbestos manufacturers registered a lawsuit againstthe federal government. In 1975, theyd paying $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 knew about, and had been disguising, asbestos-relatedhealth information for decades. The action was a lot of media attention, andpeople started to try to fix the problem by removing asbestos from buildings.But theUS still hasnt solely restricted the use of asbestos. Even so, asbestos wont motive health issuesfor most people. Most of the fibers are so tightly covered intoanother material that they won’t escape into the air unless youre trying to remove theasbestos. Plus, every year we each breathe about a millionfibers time from the natural erosion of asbestos-containing rocks. So unless youre an asbestos proletarian whosspent a great deal 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 occurrence 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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