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Asbestos in the Water Supply

Many people are aware of the danger of asbestos as an insulator. However, this mineral was also added to water mains in order to strengthen the concrete pipes. Although asbestos-laden pipes are safe if maintained properly, they can quickly become sources of danger if the asbestos fibers break down and collect in the water itself.

When Asbestos Becomes Dangerous

Asbestos, although now vilified due to its ties to cancer, can actually be a very useful material if utilized properly. As mentioned above, it can strengthen concrete. Additionally, as a silicate mineral, it is highly resistant to heat, flames, chemicals, electricity, and biodegradation. On its own, asbestos is flexible and has high tensile strength.

If asbestos is prevented from breaking down into microscopic pieces, or kept “non-friable,” it can work to strengthen materials and protect you from fires. However, age and friction can cause the material to become “friable,” which means that it is capable of releasing fibers into the air or water supply, where you can come into contact with this carcinogen.

Gastrointestinal Cancers Associated with Asbestos

When asbestos enters into the water, you can drink it or use it in cooking and cleaning. From here, you can ingest the microscopic fibers. The problem with asbestos is that your body cannot break it down. Once in your system, it can cause cancerous nodules. When you ingest asbestos fibers, it can cause several gastrointestinal cancers such as:

  • Throat
  • Esophageal
  • Stomach
  • Intestinal
  • Colorectal

Contact Us

This is but a short overview on the negative health effects caused by asbestos. For more information regarding this material and the cancers it causes, please fill out the contact form on the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help Center website.

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