Despite popular belief, asbestos is still around in some workplaces. It’s difficult to be entirely rid of it, since it was used in a range of building materials before it was banned in the UK.
Over the last few decades, the dangers of asbestos have become widely known. Asbestos is one of the leading causes of lung-related diseases, including lung cancer, and all diseases caused by asbestos can take years to be discovered.
Asbestos becomes dangerous when the fibres that make up the material become airborne and are inhaled by an individual. Even coming into contact with the substance once can cause health issues a few years down the line or later on in life.
Despite the dangers of exposure to asbestos, and the serious diseases it leads to, it is still used in several industries, and for a range of applications; including construction, gaskets, and cloth.This is because asbestos is a cheap building material, which tempts companies into using it despite legal restrictions.
Luckily, the occasional exposure to asbestos doesn’t seem to pose any risk to the general public who aren’t working with asbestos. However, the it’s still a serious health risk, not just for construction workers, but also for anyone carrying out their own home renovations.
Asbestos fibres are strong, light, and heat-resistant. They have been used for more than a century in construction, insulation, and fireproofing. The material is still legal in the United States, even though more than 50 other nations have banned the material from use.
It’s difficult to identify asbestos, which is why it’s important to seek the assistance of a professional surveyor to check for asbestos if you believe you may have it inside your home or on your property. Asbestos can be found in several household materials, including vinyl floor tiles, attic insulation, roofing material, plaster, and window glazing. Asbestos substances can also be found in some types of paint.
The presence of asbestos alone is not hazardous. Generally, when the material is in good condition, it will not release asbestos fibres. But when broken, cracked, or otherwise disturbed, it comes a health hazard. The best thing that you can do with asbestos material that is in good condition is to leave it alone. You want to be on the lookout for any materials that may contain asbestos that could crumbles easily if handled.If it is touched, sawed, scraped, or even sanded, it is likely to release asbestos fibres.
Check for tears, abrasions or water damage in household materials that usually contain asbestos. If you discover any damaged material, limit access to the area that it’s in, and do not touch it, or disturb it.
A proper assessment of the material will involve a complete visual examination, careful collection of a sample, and sample analysis. If asbestos is present, an inspector should provide a written evaluation describing its location and the extent of the damage. They will then give a recommendation for correcting the area.This is the safest way to handle asbestos.