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Asbestos: Friability is a significant factor toward risk

In many Ohio office buildings, schools, churches and even homes, there are hidden dangers lurking that could place people at risk for serious illness and injury. Asbestos is a compilation of microscopic materials that are often contained in building products, such as spray insulation, cabinetry, ceiling tiles and more. There is no known amount of safe exposure to asbestos, but there are certain issues that are thought greatly increase one's risk for injury, one of which is friability. 

Friability refers to whether an item can be easily crumbled. A good analogy is a ball of dried soil that can be easily crumbled in the hand. The easier an asbestos product can be crumbled, the more likely its microscopic fibers will fill the air, placing any person in the vicinity at risk of ingestion or inhalation. 

A product that has gotten wet then dried one or more times may become friable. Products that are sprayed with surface materials such as insulation, popcorn ceilings or certain types of plaster often contain high amounts of asbestos and may become friable for numerous reasons. Joint compound, drywall and other common construction materials are also easily made friable and are therefore considered high-risk materials. 

There are tests to determine whether there is asbestos in the air of an Ohio building or location. If a material that is suspected to contain asbestos has been scraped, hammered, drilled or otherwise manipulated, it is more likely to be dangerous to people's health, especially if it is a friable material. Sadly, exposure to asbestos has caused thousands of people to contract terminal illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Any person who believes he or she has been exposed to such dangers in the workplace, at school or elsewhere may want to discuss the issue with an attorney who is experienced in asbestos litigation. 

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