Asbestos Cement Pipes

An Assessment of Asbestos Cement Pipes

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with thin fibrous crystals. It was widely used in the construction industry in the past due to its heat resistant qualities. However it was discovered that the material posed serious health problems related to the cause of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. The amount of time one is exposed to asbestos normally determines the rapidity in which the symptoms progress. One of the most common paces you can find this material is in asbestos cement pipes.

These pipes are made up of a mixture of asbestos paste and cement which is compacted using a steel roller to create a plastic-coated substance that exhibits great sturdiness and compactness. Asbestos cement pipes offer a safety against bursting under high pressure and against failure in longitudinal bending than iron pipes. Another advantage of asbestos cement pipes is that they are very durable and affordable at the same time as the technology to manufacture these pipes are simple and consume relative small amounts of power.

These asbestos cement pipes unlike their other asbestos counter parts have not been associated with any health hazards. The asbestos cement pipes lead to an increase in asbestos fibers in drinking water when they are first installed. People can digest these fibers in food or drinking water but the fibers have not been linked with gastrointestinal cancers in the various studies that have been carried out. However, when water from asbestos cement pipes is used to wash clothes, the asbestos fibers stick to the clothes and can be later released into the atmosphere where they can be inhaled and result in a number of respiratory illnesses.

This has led to an increase of asbestos fibers in a number of extreme indoor atmospheres where asbestos cement pipes were used to draw water into the houses. The fibers found in water from asbestos cement pipes are mostly short asbestos fibers which have been considered f little impact no public health. According to a study done by the World Health Organization in their 1993 Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, there was little convincing evidence of carcinogenicity of ingested asbestos in a population that took water that had high asbestos fibers. Other studies in laboratories have also not come with conclusive proof to associate water from asbestos cement pipes with an increase of tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. No comprehensive proof that asbestos in asbestos cement pipes is hazardous to the heath of people and it has been concluded that there was no need to establish a health-based guideline mechanism for asbestos in drinking water. This is why the use of asbestos cement pipes has not been banned in many countries. By combining the mineral fibers of asbestos with cement, the overall product is very durable and they can last for 50 to 60 years. Other materials such as wood and plastic frail in this comparison to asbestos cement products as they cannot last this long. In addition, asbestos cement pipes are fireproof and they are very ideal for both commercial and residential building because asbestos does not burn. Therefore, they can be used in places that are prone to fire such as around electrical components or near a heat source such as a boiler in commercial buildings.

Article publié pour la première fois le 28/07/2013

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