About Asbestos

asbestos fibresWe are sure you have heard about Asbestos and the potential hazards associated with it. But did you know Asbestos is the common term used to describe six natural minerals?

Asbestos was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans but has been used commercially for over 150 years. Over six million tonnes have been imported into the UK, two thirds of which was used in building products. Its properties meant that it was incredibly strong, resistant to heat, proved to be a good heat and sound insulator and could even be woven into fabrics. As such it has long since found its way into a vast array of materials, ranging from floor tiles, decorative paints and plasters - such as textured coatings, lagging of pipework, cement guttering, cement boiler flues, fire blankets and even ironing board rests. Asbestos can be found in the most inconspicuous item!

Over the years it has become apparent that asbestos is carcinogenic. Asbestos fibres are long, thin and too small for the naked eye to see, thus making the hazard almost invisible. By inhaling asbestos fibres, they can become lodged in your lungs, and this could cause asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. All these diseases are fatal and incurable, taking anything from 15 to 60 years to develop, causing 3000 deaths annually in the UK. Thankfully, the use of asbestos in the UK and most of Europe has now been banned, and its management, including gradual removal, takes high priority.

DO NOT PANIC! If you do have asbestos containing materials at your workplace or home, as long as it is in good condition, remains undisturbed and is not damaged in any way, there is NO RISK to your health.

Identification, awareness and management of the asbestos will protect you, your employees and customers.