There are on average twenty deaths per week as a result of workers being exposed to asbestos at some point in their life according to the Health Safety Executives (HSE). Asbestos can often take up to 50 years for it to show itself, which causes much debate in regards to who is responsible for those exposed and inevitably contracting an asbestos related illness.
Unfortunately it is not only their lives that are at risk, but those who are close to them e.g. family members. This is because asbestos fibers can stick to clothing and transfer to other’s clothing and therefore, meaning others are in danger of developing an asbestos related illness even if they have not been in direct contact with asbestos itself. This is also known as passive asbestos.
Most Common Places Where Asbestos Is Found In The Home
Here are the places you’re most likely to find asbestos in the home;
- Ceiling tiles
- Pipe insulation
- Sprayed and textured coatings
- Asbestos cement sheeting
- Board around windows, radiators and fireplaces
- Soffit boards
- Fire doors
- Gaskets and sealants on pipes
- Electrical boxes
There are additional products that are likely to contain asbestos;
- Wall cladding
- Cement flues
- Textiles, such as old fire blankets and heat resistant gloves
- Lining under tiles and inside metal cladding
- Loose fill asbestos
Just looking at the lists whereby asbestos could be present illustrates just why there is such a threat on our health. However, just because asbestos is present within the fibers, this does not necessarily mean that there is an immediate danger; even though asbestos is present, if it hasn’t been disturbed in any way, then the likelihood is that it will not pose a threat on your health. If however, there is any doubt, you should seek an asbestos removal professional in order to determine whether or not asbestos fibers are present in the air and the level of threat.
Why Asbestos Was Used
If you’re thinking ‘why was asbestos used if it poses such a risk to our health’ then hindsight is a wonderful thing. The reason why asbestos was used so widely when building properties and premises was because firstly, it was not known that asbestos posed such a threat to our health. Secondly, it was a great insulator, easy and cheap to install. After all, there wasn’t really any other alternative to insulating premises and homes when asbestos was first used and at the time was a revelation in the world of building.
Asbestos is a loose and fluffy insulation material used to insulate under floor boards, lofts etc. Asbestos can be either an off-white or blue-grey color.
Loose fill asbestos is perhaps the most hazardous, as this is made up of pure asbestos, and therefore, if it is disturbed this can result in dangerous amounts of asbestos fibers being released into the air.
Whatever you do, do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself; it simply is not worth the risk. Some people do so to try save themselves a few hundred pounds, but the health risk doesn’t even compare with the amount of money you’d need to spend. So, be safe and make sure if there is asbestos fibers present, that it is removed correctly and by a professional.
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