Archive for February, 2010
Posted by in Asbestos FAQ
Asbestos was commonly used throughout the 20th century and particularly from the 1950’s onwards, during the rebuilding process from World War 2. It was popular because it was known to be highly heat and fire resistant, so it was often used in building materials. However, the substance is now banned in the EU and many other countries because it is now known to cause a multitude of highly dangerous and life threatening diseases.
The main danger from asbestos comes when asbestos fibrous crystals are released into the air and can be breathed into the lungs. Once in the lungs, these fibres can seriously damage the lungs and cause illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and pleural plaques.
Unfortunately, when caused by asbestos fibres, all these diseases have a considerable latency period. This can sometimes stretch up to 40 years. The consequence of this was that asbestos was used in building materials across the world for an extensive period of time before it was linked to these deadly diseases.
It is now expected that asbestos related deaths will increase dramatically over the coming years as people begin to be affected by asbestos that they may have been exposed to up to 30 or 40 years ago when its dangers were unknown.