… Trick Question. Asbestos Has No Smell Or Taste
Scientists have long claimed that “all scents are particulate.”
This is egghead-speak for the notion that, if you can smell something, it’s because tiny particles of that something are tickling your nose hairs.
While this has always been a real drag for, say, crime scene investigators who end up working near human decomposition… it’s great for people who end up working around, say, cinnamon rolls.
If you ever walked through a shopping mall and were attracted by the smell of cinnamon rolls, first of all, you’re old. There haven’t been any cinnamon rolls in shopping malls for several years, Grandma. In fact, there are precious few indoor shopping malls left at all.
I have a friend who once ran chocolate stores at the airport. Now, for the uninitiated, an airport is basically a big indoor shopping mall with the added feature of airline departure gates. What this meant to my friend was that, if he could create attractive scents, he could sell more chocolate.
So he started selling popcorn, too, and every time a new batch of popcorn popped, customers would rush into the store to buy whatever their noses told them to buy. This was often popcorn, for some reason, but also sometimes included expensive chocolates.
Your sense of smell works closely with your sense of taste, much like a crime scene detective works closely with a cinnamon roll whenever he gets a chance. What this means is that, when you smell something that seems like it’ll be tasty, chances are, it will taste great to you.
You might wonder what this has to do with asbestos abatement, and you’d be right to wonder. But here it is: you can’t smell or taste asbestos.
Not that you’d want to scarf down a big dish of asbestos anyway, but the fact is that you will never be attracted by the smell of asbestos because it has no smell. And – this might surprise you – asbestos also has no taste.
If you’re exposed to airborne asbestos, it’s true that microscopic particles of the ugly stuff will be wandering into your nose. But, unlike cinnamon rolls, asbestos particles don’t give off any scent at all.
What they do give you is mesothelioma, which is a fatal and uncurable form of lung cancer.
It takes significant and prolonged exposure to the nasty stuff, but yes, if you end up being exposed to such an extent, you run a very large risk of contracting an illness you can’t come back from.
Asbestos isn’t dangerous when it’s not disturbed. This is good news, since there’s asbestos all around us, in the building materials used to build our homes and offices. But if your property suffers a fire (even a little one), or a flood (like from a burst pipe), or a botched DIY project… the asbestos is disturbed.
And when that happens, the ugly stuff breaks into microscopic shards which, while you can’t see or smell or feel or taste them, can impale themselves in your lungs and give you every reason to set your affairs in order.
And you thought stuff like cinnamon rolls would kill you!
Asbestos is legal. You can’t manufacture stuff with asbestos in the U.S., but you can legally import asbestos-containing products from other countries, and many people don’t know that tons of the nasty stuff end up in our country every year. It’s everywhere. So your best bet is to have your property tested, and if there’s a problem with airborne asbestos, get it solved. It costs more than a cinnamon roll or a large popcorn… but asbestos abatement costs far less than you probably think