Mexican banana sheets created to replace the dangerous asbestos
- Young Mexicans create biodegradable sheets banana thanks to LAMBIO project.
- These structures can serve as an alternative to dangerous asbestos, a carcinogenic compound widely used in industry and households.
Young students of the College of Science and Technology Studies Tabasco (CECYTA) in Mexico have developed biodegradable sheets from fiber stem of the banana plant that could replace the dangerous asbestos . This mineral, also known as asbestos , it was used for decades to insulate pipes, coated walls and roofs of houses or industrial.
The scientific community, however, warned ago years asbestos toxicity. asbestos fibers , to be floating in the air, they can be easily inhaled. This makes arriving to the lungs due to its tiny size, so that prolonged exposure to asbestos has been linked to an increased risk for cancer lung cancer and a rare tumor such as mesothelioma.
Sheeting completely biodegradable
in this sense, according to algunos studies, occupational exposure to asbestos causes more than 100,000 deaths per year . In España, for example, where more than two million tons of asbestos were imported between 1906 and 2002, this carcinogenic compound causing deaths continue until 2040. Mexico , according to the UNAM, have imported more than five hundred thousand tons of asbestos.
to avoid use of fifteen young Mexicans decided find an alternative to this dangerous chemical. Students currently enrolled in the school, had the idea to be taking the matter Processes fruit and vegetables . In this course your teacher told them that only 12% of the banana plant is used, while the remaining 88% (mainly leaf, stems and roots) is discarded. From there the students decided to launch a project to research what could be availed of these materials. That was how they came to remove the banana fiber , starting material for these alternatives to asbestos sheets.
As they explained students CONACYT, “That’s when they began the ideas, as we discovered that fiber is very flexible and could be used for used for many things, not only for films but for other materials, it features similar to those of tablets wooden building, was well also began to make chairs and tables. “
to make the alternatives to asbestos sheets, students had to collect and clean the stem of the banana plant . After slicing and grinding the raw material, the young obtained fiber to be mixed with organic resins. Thus obtained a mass which is molded and dried to give rise to these structures without any risk to health, to be produced from organic materials.
The blades are fully biodegradable , so after ten or fifteen years can be crushed and exploited as fertilizer. According to their estimates, the price is 25% than those currently on the market. With LAMBIO initiative, students also want to help the biotechnology to reuse a raw material only in the state of Tabasco generates 545,000 tons of waste every eight months.
the project received an award at Expo-Sciences 2015, in addition to being second in the International Fair Sciences Taiwan 2016, where students attended as only representatives of Latin America . These days LAMBIO also present at the International Science Fair held in Tunisia. Results demonstrating the success of an investigation that is now seeking funding and support to move forward and become a real alternative to dangerous asbestos.