Oct 21 2016

Asbestos: Don’t Surrender If You’re Surrounded

You wouldn’t think that asbestos would win any popularity contests, given that it is the cause of several fatal lung diseases.  But it was once seen as a magic material. It is adaptable and flexible, lightweight yet strong, and best of all, fire-resistant up to 800°C. This is why it has cropped up in a wide range of commonly used building materials and other items.

It was added to cement, used in insulation laggings and floor and ceiling tiles. It can be found in both decorative and structural materials. In effect, it has the potential to be all around you.


Are You Working, Unaware?


You don’t have to be in the building trade, or anything particularly closely related to it to be working with it, however unaware of it you are.

For example, you might be in an office, or library, or shop where the artex ceilings above your desk are damaged. Well then, there’s a good chance you’re working with it, you’re in close proximity to it all day, and the damaged areas are a likely source of asbestos fibres.

Asbestos fibres are deadly. If you breathe them in they can cause deadly lung diseases. You may not experience symptoms for years, but the disease is growing inside you. It can take anything from 6 to 60 years to show up.

Asbestos-related lung diseases are not, themselves, contagious, but if you came home with asbestos fibres on your clothing, or in your hair, they could be transmitted to others.


Raising Asbestos Awareness


People need to be protected from the threat of asbestos and they need to be protected now.  Around 5,000 people a year die from asbestos-related diseases in the UK.

Currently the country lacks a nationally coordinated effort to raise awareness of it and the dangers and health risks associated with it. Because it is commonly seen as being from the past, like a hangover from less enlightened times, there are myths clouding a clear understanding of it.

Here are some facts:

  • even small amounts can be harmful
  • there is no “safe” asbestos
  • simply wearing a mask will not protect you if you’re attempting to remove it
  • it is not easy to identify – it is in over 18,000 products and building materials.

The best way to fight it is to make more people aware of the dangers and to let them know the safest, professional channels for identifying and removing it. That’s why we at All Survey are campaigning for a national asbestos register.

If you want to find out more, contact us or visit our Campaign page here.

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