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Name: David J Nieder
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Question:
Some people say asbestos really is not a problem. Can someone please refer me to where I can find out about asbestos.



Replies:
Asbestos is not a health problem unless it gets in your lungs. There is research underway to determine the health effects of asbestos on other parts of the body such as the gastrointestinal tract, but it is clear that asbestos and healthy lungs do not mix. Look up the term "asbestosis" in any medical dictionary. This problem was serious enough to force Johns Mansville Corporation into bankruptcy after losing a class-action suit by ship-builders who were knowingly exposed to asbestos in the air during World War II at a time when the link between asbestos and lung disease was first discovered. The company has reorganized and is now doing business as the Mansville Corporation, and it is required by law to pay survivor's benefits.

A good booklet about asbestos and other health hazards can be bought for $0.50 - it is called "Home Buyer's Guide to Environmental Hazards" (order number 329A) from R. Woods, Consumer information center-4A PO Box 100, Pueblo, CO

Mortis


Asbestos IS a problem, but it is not as much of a problem as the news media and various civic groups think. It is unquestionably true that asbestos causes cancer (lung cancer). It also causes scarring of the lungs that leads to a serious respiratory disease called "asbestosis." However, the degree of exposure necessary to cause these diseases, particularly the cancers, is not well known and as with many other diseases, seems to vary from person to person and with other unknown factors. Remember that asbestos is a natural fiber, and that it is in the air everywhere (in very small concentrations). If the concentration gets too high, there is a significant risk of disease. In general, the mere presence of asbestos in a building is not dangerous; it is when the asbestos is disturbed and becomes airborne that there is a hazard. There are many publications about asbestos and its hazards.

Gary E Meyers



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