Exposure to asbestos is not in itself deadly. However it can cause specific fatal diseases. These diseases often have a high latency period from when the asbestos fibre is inhaled to when the signs of the lethal diseases it causes start to take affect.
Mesothelioma is one of the diseases most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. This is an uncommon form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. It usually forms in the lungs but can reach the heart or stomach. The symptoms may not appear until between 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos occurred.
Other diseases caused by asbestos exposure include lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques. These can have an equally long latency period, yet once they start to show their symptoms, their victims have little hope of survival and the illness takes hold quickly. In the recent asbestos Scotland news item we published about asbestos in a golf club in Scotland it didn’t take long at all for symptoms. See that article below this post.
Asbestos was used in many countries extensively throughout the 20th century. Its most common use was in building materials but it was also used in other objects that needed heat and fire resistance such as Bunsen burner mats in schools and ironing boards in homes. Within building materials, asbestos is commonly found within cement, floor and ceiling tiles, lagging, insulating board, and sprayed coatings.
In the UK and across the EU asbestos is no longer used in building materials. Previously it was used extensively due to its fire resistant properties. This was common throughout the 20th century, and particularly from the 1950s onwards as rebuilding was extensive after the Second World War. This continued right up until the end of the century, because it remained unknown for a long time that asbestos is dangerous when its fibres are inhaled. It took so long for this to be discovered because the latency period of the affects taking place can be up to 40 years. Now thousands of tradesmen such as plumbers, ship yard workers, joiners, and builders die every year because of asbestos, and so it is banned from use.
This does not mean it is no longer a danger though. Many buildings still contain the deadly fibres hidden within building materials. It is important that everyone becomes more aware of where asbestos may be, so less people become affected by asbestos related diseases. Professional asbestos management teams can deal with asbestos legally and safely.
Due to the dangers that are now known to be associated with asbestos (such as life threatening diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma), strict measures need to be adhered to.
The HSE control of asbestos regulations 2006 now prohibit the use and supply of asbestos in the United Kingdom. However, if your building was built or modified from the 1950’s onwards, there may well be asbestos contained within the building materials, and if these fibres are disturbed, there could be serious consequences. Because of the dangers of asbestos exposure, the HSE control of asbestos regulations 2006 also usually require a licence to be held in order to work with asbestos.
Asbestos surveyors such as Lucion Environmental are licensed to inspect, test and remove asbestos. Thus if you are concerned that there may be asbestos within your property or business properties, it is important you contact Lucion. Once you do this, they can survey the property, test samples for asbestos, and manage the asbestos if found, in a fully qualified and highly trained manner, ensuring that all health and safety requirements are fulfilled and the safety of the inhabitants of the building is guaranteed.
Asbestos management is a form of business that deals with the correct handling of asbestos. An asbestos management company is employed to oversee the correct health and safety measures are undertaken as they check for the presence of, and remove, asbestos.
If asbestos is suspected to be present within a building due to the time at which it was constructed and the popularity of asbestos as a building material at that time, an asbestos management company should be called. The team will then survey the building for asbestos. There are three main types of survey: management, pre-refurbishment or pre-demolition. These surveys will distinguish the presence of asbestos and will also involve the taking of samples to be tested for asbestos in a laboratory. Should these samples come back as positive for the presence of asbestos, the asbestos will have to be contained safely and sometimes removed.
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.
Asbestos is a fibrous material that occurs naturally in the earth. There are six different types but they are all contained within the same family due to their crystal fibres which are now known to be extremely dangerous to the lungs when inhaled, often causing fatal illnesses including lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and pleural plaques. The main types are generally classified into white, blue and brown asbestos. White asbestos is called Chrysotile, found in serpentine rocks, which are common in California. Brown and blue asbestos were less popular in use as they are not as flexible as white asbestos which can be woven easier. Blue and brown asbestos forms are both commonly found in Africa. These forms of asbestos were used commonly in the past due to asbestos’ heat and fire resistant properties, hence its name coming from the Greek meaning inextinguishable. Asbestos has been banned in the EU but other countries still mine asbestos and some unfortunately still use it in building materials due to its relative inexpensive cost.