Asbestos: Myths and Reality

For some people Asbestos seems so last century, almost alien to today’s world. But asbestos is still out there and it still poses a significant risk. Here are some myths about asbestos that are just plain wrong, and could be very costly to your health if you acted on them.

Small amounts of asbestos are harmless

NO – no amount of asbestos is harmless – there is no known safe level of exposure, so inhaling the smallest amount of asbestos fibre could be highly dangerous. Remember: some symptoms of asbestos-related illness take years to show up.

Asbestos is easy to identify

NO – asbestos is in over 18,000 products and building materials. Major manufacturing took place between the 1920s and 1970s, however it is still being used around the globe today, and was used until 1999 in the UK. It can, pretty much, be anywhere and everywhere, from furniture and floor tiles to pipes and insulation.

Some asbestos isn’t dangerous

NOT TRUE – there is no “safe” asbestos, whether it is blue, brown or white. All are deadly, and all have been used in a variety of applications and sites.

You are safe to remove asbestos yourself if you wear a mask

NO – disturbing and removing asbestos is very dangerous, with the risk of releasing asbestos fibres into the air, where they can be inhaled. Only properly qualified experts should handle Asbestos, wearing the right equipment designed specifically for this task.

If you don’t actually work with asbestos you are not at risk

NOT TRUE – even people not working with asbestos can be affected, for example where relatives or friends of trades people have come into contact with asbestos fibres. Asbestos diseases are not themselves contagious, but people may accidentally pass on the harmful fibres from clothes, hair, footwear, skin and tools.

You may be at risk from asbestos. Be safe and be sure – contact All Survey for help, advice and support.