Asbestos was derived from the greek word (a-not; “sbestos,” extinguishable) is a form of some minerals and hydrous silicate of magnesium.
Asbestos is still very much used in Nigerian out of ignorance or poverty.
In developed countries asbestos usage has been banned out rightly or relatively reduced to a very small usage due to the facts that some diseases were contacted because of the exposure of it’s fiber to human beings, especially in high volume .
The fibers are light and can easily be carried by air , the three major diseases related with it are ‘asbestosis’, a disease of the lungs caused by inhalation of asbestos particles , ‘mesothelioma’ and lung cancer.
There are two major classes-‘amphiboles & serpentines’ the serpentines constituting 95% of major world supplies.
On several occasions employees directly earning a living by selling asbestos products have always come out to defend it especially in less informed countries, it was noted that the first case of its harmful nature was discovered a long while ago after some group of underground miners were exposed to raw fibers. This has led to the western countries banning the use especially in homes.
Asbestos usage is wide from fabrics, textiles molded goods (pipes and gaskets), building construction materials (missile and jet parts, paints, brake lining,fibro cement, insulation product, fire proofing product, floor covering, ceiling tiles and roofing materials which is mostly used in Nigeria. (asbestos cement, corrugated and flat sheets and for thermal (heat) and acoustic insulation).
In Nigeria 95% of the population still make use of asbestos, all though there have not really been reported cases of the effects of these fibres on peoples health ,but countries that directly do the mining have had more negative stories about the product .
We may have been drinking rainwater channeled into our tanks from asbestos roof for years and notice no negative effects on our health but it was reported that the effect can be noticed at times after 30 years of its infection.
Hence the rate of infection and when it is going to show depends on the rate at which you inhale the fibers to your lungs.
Asbestos can also be contacted through renovation, demolition of building and roofing works.
In Nigeria is mainly used for ceiling and roof, it may be difficult to fully replace it in every homes due to the cost of the alternatives.
The mineral fiber board for suspended ceiling , the P.O.P or finished plywood are way too expensive as a substitute for common man. The aluminium roof is also on the very high side as well and the traditional zinc materials are just too unappealing and outdated for a lot of people to consider .
But there are products that are now been worked on that are cheaper to acquire like painted galvanized zinc and others will also be brought to your notice later.