Asbestos is a group of microscopic natural minerals that are naturally fire resistant and flexible. These qualities were used widely several years ago in many applications such as pipe and building insulation, roofing, carpet underlay, ceiling, wall and floor tiles, patching compounds, vehicle brake pads, ironing board pads, electrical wiring, textured paints, cements, and many more applications across both domestic and industrial environments.
Usually there are other materials present which prevent the asbestos particles from being released into the air. However, when these materials become damaged, the danger becomes very real.
- There is no safe level of exposure when it comes to asbestos. Quite simply, the more exposure you have, the greater the risk of long-term health problems.
- One of the common diseases from asbestos is Asbestosis. This is common amongst workers who manufacture products containing asbestos, or work within areas containing loose or damaged asbestos.
- Another common disease caused by exposure to asbestos is Mesothelioma. This disease is a form of cancer of the cells that line the outside of the lungs, the inside of the ribs, and around the abdominal organs.
- Products containing asbestos are all too common within both domestic and commercial environments, especially in buildings or offices built prior to the late 1970’s. If you suspect you have materials containing asbestos then you should not be tempted to investigate. Asbestos based products are fairly safe when undamaged, but as a precaution you should have you building assessed by a trained asbestos engineer. If you have damaged asbestos based products then do not delay – you and your colleagues and employees run a high risk of long term health problems. Often the symptoms may not be apparent for 30 years or so!