Asbestos is a type of rock composed of fibres of silicon, oxygen and other elements that was widely used throughout the construction industry. Prior to its ban in 1999, asbestos was a versatile building material, and can be found in many places throughout both residential and commercial premises.
It is responsible for the deaths of 5000 workers every year, and claims the lives of around 1000 tradesmen a year who have been exposed to asbestos in the past. Whilst these numbers will eventually diminish as old buildings are gradually replaced, the immediate risks of asbestos inhalation are severe. The risk of inhalation arises when asbestos becomes damaged, leading to fibres being released into the breathable air.
Asbestos exposure significantly increases risk of lung cancer, Mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs and lower digestive tract) and Pleural thickening (swelling of the lining of the lungs). Specifically, a condition called Asbestosis occurs when fibres damage the lungs and cause bleeding. This bleeding leads to the progressive scarring and deterioration of lung function, and in some cases, death.
When working with asbestos, it is imperative that workers avoid breathing in asbestos, or coming into any physical contact with it. Respiratory protective equipment should be used with a filtering mechanism to ensure a safe air supply.
If you are worried about dangerous asbestos exposure, either in your home or workplace, contact us on 01482 668221 to discuss how we can help you manage your asbestos situation in a safe and effective manner.