Why is Asbestos dangerous?
- Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, unbelievably, this is more than people killed on the road.
- 20 trades men die approximately a week as a result of past exposure.
- Though Asbestos can be seen as a problem of the past, it can be found in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.
Materials containing asbestos can get disturbed or damaged and fibres are released into the air. Inhaling the fibres can cause serious diseases. These are diseases which would not necessarily affect you straight away.They can take some time to develop but once diagnosed it is often too late to do anything.
Asbestos can cause:
- Asbestos is related lung cancer
- Pleural thickening
Asbestos is something that we need to really think about when entering a property to carry out any work. It can be found in industrial, residential or refurbished properties built before the year 2000. It can be found in many common materials used within the building trade i.e.
- Loose asbestos in ceiling or floor cavity
- Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams/columns
- Asbestos insulating board
- Floor tiles, textiles and composites
- Textured coatings
- Asbestos cement products
- Roofing felt
- Rope seals and gaskets
So when entering a property, all this needs to be taken into consideration when carrying out a risk assessment for any further work needed, for example a new boiler installation. This is where we could run into asbestos. As a company we recently installed a boiler where asbestos was found, as shown in picture below.
My thoughts on Asbestos
Asbestos is one thing that scares me but after my research for this blog it has become scarier. As well has not being able to identifying it, you would not know you had been exposed to it until too late. Once symptoms had presented themselves there is nothing that can be done to reverse the affects of the exposure.
I had an experience with Asbestos too when I decided to have a new boiler installed. The tank within my attic contained Asbestos. I didn’t know this was the case and it made me feel uneasy as I would not have known it contained Asbestos. Once they had discovered this, the first thing to do was to get it disposed of, and then the new combination boiler could be installed. You have to be licensed to handle and dispose of Asbestos and have specialised training and equipment. I was grateful not have to worry about dealing with it myself.
One thing I would say after my encounter with Asbestos is let the company that finds it deal with it for you, they will know people in the business that can handle and dispose of it correctly, safely and quickly for you. This will give you peace of mind in the long run.
I hope this helps but links below good for more information: