Most people in Pennsylvania are already well aware of the dangers that asbestos poses to human beings. The general understanding is that you’re usually safe from the toxic effects as long as the asbestos isn’t drilled or screwed into or otherwise disturbed. But asbestos is still legally used in chlor-alkali plants, and this still has the potential to adversely affect the people who work in them and live near them.
What makes asbestos dangerous?
It’s the inhalation of fine asbestos particles that causes problems for people, so the idea is that as long as you leave it alone, the material poses little to no health risk. But what many people aren’t aware of is this sustance has a long history of use in the manufacturing of chlorine – a practice that continues to this day.
It’s an issue that has gained renewed media attention after the growing outcry from activist groups. For a number of experts and the general public alike, this has been enough to convince them that it’s a cause for alarm.
Of all the carcinogens in the world, asbestos is by far one of the most dangerous to people. Now that the use of this carcinogenic material is subject to new measures by the EPA significantly restricting its use, people are safer than ever from the harmful effects.
The last asbestos hazard
Unfortunately, that safety doesn’t yet extend to everyone. Because the EPA’s asbestos bans aren’t all-encompassing, there are those who are still left vulnerable – particularly, people who work at factories in the chlor-alkali industry. What’s worse, it’s not just the people who go to work at these plants who are put at risk but also those in residences nearby.
Chlor-alkali factories are among the final places where the use of asbestos is still authorized in the United States. These plants are the major producers of chlorine and thus essential for clean water as well as manufacturing products like cloth and paper. Chlorine is also needed to make pesticides, solvents, and rubber. This only makes it all the more essential to invest in alternatives to asbestos in this essential industry.