Environmental Risk Report on Nanoparticles Essay
Knowledge of environmental risks of nanoparticles has accrued gradually over the past century (Brodsky 2011). Recent studies have shown that some nanoparticles like asbestos could alter cell arrangement leading to the death of the cells. Currently, it is accepted that the environmental contamination of nanoparticles fibers is harmful to flora and fauna (Debia 2013). The article below will focus on the environmental risk posed by asbestos particles.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance. Historical records indicate that humans have utilized the material for over 3000 years (Dragonieri 2014). Over the last century, the material has been used in construction, locomotive, apparel, and plastic industries. For decades, tanks and pipework have been insulated with asbestos materials in infirmaries, power generation centers, and other manufacturing industries (Egilman 2009). Asbestos has also been used in the making of textiles owing to its resistance to high temperatures and corrosive materials. The most popular apparel that utilized this nanoparticle comprised of bedspreads, firefighter suits, and rope. In the automotive industry, the substance was used in the manufacture of brake mats, clutches, hood linings, seals, and stopcocks. The material has also been used to make a floor covering and roofing tiles. The paste used to fasten floor tiles has also been manufactured using the nanoparticle. Asbestos has also been used to make cement products. The material was added to cement to enhance the efficiency of the building material (Debia 2013). The nanoparticle was preferred owing to its ability to offer strength to construction materials without the unnecessary addition of considerable weight. Asbestos protecting and fire-resistant features also made the material a perfect ingredient of cement products.
An environmental risk characterization of asbestos
Asbestos particles may pollute the air or water from the disintegration of naturally occurring deposits or artificial merchandise (Jelinek 2015). The particles do not vaporize into the air or liquefy in water solution. In this regard, the nanoparticles stay suspended in water or air. Through this, they may be carried away from their source by air or water. As indicated above asbestos usually cause air population when disturbed. When blown by the wind the substances become airborne. In such situations, animals and animals may inhale the particles. In the lungs of these organisms, the substances may trigger respiratory complications. As such, the more an individual is exposed to these materials the more he or she increases the chances of . Some of the health hazards associated with the nanoparticle are asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
Asbestosis is a respiratory disease that usually affects persons exposed to asbestos (Sen 2015). The disease was first diagnosed among individuals working in naval shipyards. When these nanoparticles are inhaled, they become blocked in the lungs. As a result, the body tries to eliminate the substances by segregating a type of acid to dissolve them. The acid released eventually damages the lung tissues leading to scars (Debia 2013). With prolonged exposure, scarring becomes far-reaching affecting the functioning of the lungs. Individuals infected with the disease experience shortness of breath and constant coughing. Notably, the damage caused to the lung tissues is permanent.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the exterior covering of the lung and chest fissure (Vecchia 2014). The disease is unique since it only affects individuals who have been exposed to asbestos. The disease may take up to two decades to develop in the body of the victim. Death regularly befalls one to three years after the symptoms appear.
The other hazard posed by the material is lung cancer (Jarvholm 2014). Other than smoking, severe and prolonged contact with asbestos also raises a persons likelihood of developing a lung tumor. Malignancy of the gastrointestinal tube may also be triggered by exposure to asbestos.
The toxicity of asbestos particles
The available data assert that when asbestos enters the body it causes some toxicity manifestations. They include simple inflammatory responses, fibro-genesis, and carcinogenesis. The size and nature of these nanoparticles seem to influence their toxicity. The two attributes determine the capability of the lungs to eliminate the particles from the body. As such, asbestosis is caused by tiny and thicker fibers. On the other hand, mesothelioma and lung cancer are attributed to lengthier and thinner fibers. Chrysotile, which makes up white asbestos, measures approximately 5 mm (Sen 2015). On the other hand, crocidolite that makes up blue asbestos ranges between 5 to 10 mm (Brodsky 2011). Researches show that chrysotile is mostly less dangerous compared to amosite or crocidolite.
to the nanoparticles may lead to respiratory complications, mesothelioma, and lung cancer after an extended time (Debia 2013). Equally, long-lasting contact with higher doses is linked with the development of o parenchymal asbestosis and lung cancer.
Exposure issues related to asbestos and its uses
Exposure to asbestos particles can happen in the factory, residence, or community (Debia 2013). Extracted and utilized commercially for the last two centuries, the substance has been used in numerous merchandise. They , shoes, clutch mats, ceiling slates, ground tiles, dyes, varnishes, and adhesives. Owing to federal guidelines and health worries, asbestos materials are no longer extensively used compared to the last three decades. Therefore, the rate of exposure has dropped.
Increased rates of exposure are witnessed among building and construction workers (Sallemi 2012). Similarly, some researchers have claimed that families of these employees also have a higher risk of being exposed to asbestos. It is postulated that these families are exposed to asbestos brought into their residences via attire, skin, or hair. Other individuals who have an increased chance of coming into contact with the potent material are those living close to asbestos mines.
An additional group of people who have an increased chance of exposure is employees who were involved in the demolition of the remains of the World Trade Centre after the 9/11 attacks (Arti 2013). The structure was built using asbestos materials. Therefore, after its destruction, a lot of asbestos disintegrated into the surrounding.
Characterize the level of risk involved
The level of risk posed by exposure to asbestos can be characterized as low and high depending on the period of contact (Brodsky 2011). As such, the risk is reduced for for inhabitants in older residences. However, the risk is higher for individuals who are regularly exposed to the material in higher concentrations. Asbestos-linked complications usually affect employees who are exposed to high doses of the particles over lengthy periods (Brodsky 2011). For instance, demolition and building employees in the Canterbury District have increased the chances of (Jackson 2011). The above risk is attributed to the current building and demolition in the region after the 20102011earthquakes.
The use of asbestos has been banned in many developed countries. However, it is worrying to note that the utilization of this potent material has not been outlawed in the USA and Canada (Fox 2015). In the two countries, the substance is still being used in the automotive, construction, and apparel industries. In Canada, the use of the material has dwindled in the past few decades. Asbestos Products Regulation oversees the utilization of the substances.
In the future, more research should be undertaken to identify how exposure to the material can be reduced among the workers. Similarly, investigations should be carried out to determine how to prevent and manage the complications caused by exposure to asbestos. Equally, people living or working in structures that are made of materials comprising of asbestos ought to ensure that they have sufficient ventilation systems. Houses or structures that have insulation materials made of asbestos should be informed about the dangers of this substance (Brodsky 2011). They should also ensure that the insulation system is firmly held to minimize disturbance. When disturbed, the asbestos in the insulation component may get airborne polluting the air in the building and increasing exposure to the residence. If the installation is to be uninstalled, special measures ought to be adhered to decrease the creation of sprinkles and stipulate suitable sites for discarding. Persons can get information concerning disposing of material with asbestos particles from their local government or institutions certified to champion environmental protection. In addition, more research should be carried out to increase the knowledge of environmental risks caused by nanoparticles like asbestos.