Warning Signs of Asbestos
Asbestos, a fibre-like material that is known and used for its fire-resistance and insulation properties, was once used in buildings and constructions across the UK and US and many other nations.
Though Asbestos was initially celebrated as a miracle product that helped create durable and affordable buildings, and used to be employed mostly for flooring and roofing, it was later found to be a cause of many deadly diseases like severe lung diseases, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Hece, it has been fully banned in Australia since 2003.
Though the manufacturing, sale as well as the importing of Asbestos has been legally banned and stopped since 2003, most of the buildings that were constructed before the 1990s had a form of asbestos embedded in them. While the products that contain asbestos are left undisturbed will not cause much of a health hazard as the fibres are sealed and intact in them, the buildings that contain asbestos will be deadly once they are drilled, sanded or even broken by any chance as the asbestos fibres will float around in the air. These tiny particles will easily be inhaled by a person who is in direct contact with it and the most alarming thing about it is that any symptoms will take a long time, as much as 40 years to be visible.
Also, it is essential to note that the asbestos-caused diseases are sort of incurable, even with the modern medical advances and hence the mortality rate is very high.
Types of Asbestos
Chrysotile or the white asbestos used to be the most popular among asbestos variants and were mostly used in roofings and ceilings. These can still be found in many buildings if those were constructed before the 1990s. The white asbestos was also used in pipe insulation and boiler seals.
Another type of asbestos is the brown asbestos, also called the Amosite. These were mostly used in cement sheets and for insulation purposes and tiles.
The Crocidolite or the blue asbestos on the other hand were used for both commercial and industrial uses due to their less heat resistance.
If the presence of asbestos is found in your property, you need to get it checked by professionals and act accordingly to protect yourself and your family. The removal should not, by any chance, be done by yourself.
Asbestos-related operations should be undertaken in accordance with International Safety Standards with the help of the right technology and equipment. While asbestos is dangerous, it’s not a deadly component by itself. However, once the material containing asbestos gets damaged, it releases fine dust containing asbestos fibres that when breathed in causes many problems, mostly to your lungs and nasal tract.
Though the exposure to asbestos is to be feared, it will not act immediately. There should be long-term exposure to asbestos inorder to get affected by it. A longer exposure to asbestos you have, a higher chance of getting affected by asbestosis is there.
Should You Be Alarmed?
If you were a person who had been a part of the construction industry in the 1970s to 1990s, you should be alarmed. Because during that time, the use of asbestos in construction was at its peak.
But nowadays the chances for getting exposed to asbestos are slim. It happens only if you come into contact with asbestos for your work like removal of asbestos in old buildings. The category of workers that get more exposure towards asbestos are the heating and ventilation engineers, demolition workers, plumbers, construction workers and electricians.