Asbestos - Combating the Hidden Killer

Posted by : indra budiman | | Published in

remove asbestosAsbestos fibres are present in the environment wherever we go.  However the dangers they present arise ordinarily from the volume that we inhale.  Being in close proximity to damaged asbestos-containing materials increases our risk of contracting an asbestos related illness immeasurably.There are four diseases ordinarily associated with exposure to asbestos fibres – mesotheliona (always fatal), lung cancer (usually fatal), asbestosis (sometimes fatal but in any event debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal).Before its health implications were known asbestos was heralded as something of a magic substance, with a plethora of uses.  Asbestos can be found in cement products, textured coatings, floor tiles, textiles, sprayed coatings on ceilings and walls, insulating boards, lagging, or loose in ceilings and floor cavities. 

Many years ago asbestos mats were even used in school laboratories to protect wooden desks from the flames of Bunsen burners.The great difficulty with asbestos-related illness is that it takes so long to manifest itself.  Sometimes it can be thirty years or even more before the first signs appear.One consequence of the growing problem of asbestos-related disease has been the emergence of independent consultancies that give specialist advice to those who may have been, or could become, exposed to the danger.  One such agency is Lancall, which provides free advice and a risk assessment and management service as well as a dedicated asbestos website.Another service provided by Lancall is the supply of dedicated software, which enables businesses to input their own data and produce their own compliance reports.Asbestos-related disease is deadly serious.  Without wishing to sound alarmist, few people could say with confidence that they have not been in a situation within the last thirty years in which they may have come into contact with broken asbestos and the fibres that it releases.  If you are concerned, it is worth talking to somebody who knows the score.