Several decades ago Asbestos was considered one of the most efficient materials available for building insulation against sound and fire. As a result, the material was very commonly used from the 1920s through to the 1980s, and up to 2000 when it’s use was outlawed. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) were used in both domestic and commercial building construction.
It was not until decades after it was first commonly used when issues started to surface that linked Asbestos with breathing illnesses in those that worked with this substance. Conditions like mesothelioma became very familiar to the public, especially the hard-hitting fact that the disease may well not show up for decades after the initial exposure. As a result of that linkage, there was a global appearance of services set up for the sole purpose of identifying the presence of and removing asbestos. Both the domestic and commercial sectors were affected which only served to emphasise the risk posed by the substance. To this day, buildings that currently have asbestos still in place remain a risky environment for those who are living or working in them.
Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
The primary reason that this substance is considered so dangerous arises from the fact that the act of inhaling when in an Asbestos environment risks the lodging of small filaments of this mineral in the lungs. Over time, this could build up significantly, leading to the development of several forms of cancer for which there is no cure. Therefore, once identified as present, its removal is considered absolutely mandatory. There are millions of locations worldwide where this substance is still present or, incredibly, still being used. However, most countries now realise how dangerous this substance is and, within both a commercial and home residential setting, understand it can pose a deadly threat to all employees or family members respectively who work or live there.
It should be noted that lung damage caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres (asbestos-related lung disease) may not show any symptoms in the afflicted until over fifty years from the point of initial contamination.
Do you have a building where Asbestos is still present?
If you are responsible for a building, built or renovated before 2000, where you have employees working on a daily basis and there is asbestos in the walls and ceiling, this needs to be removed or contained as quickly as possible. The longer that your workers are exposed within the confines of this structure, the higher the probability that they will go on to develop illness and potentially life-threatening conditions. If you are a business owner with one or more buildings that pose a risk then you can easily arrange for your premises to be surveyed and tested.
History has taught us, especially during the flood of litigation against businesses during the 80s and 90s, that leaving such a potentially lethal substance in place is not acceptable. UK legislation has, over the years, been put in place to ensure that business premises are assessed and evaluated for the level of risk they pose and our working environments today have come a long way. The country is now well positioned to regulate and govern the use of Asbestos in the building industry. We have come a long way since the frightening times of the last century when the full risk of this material became fully clear.
An Asbestos Management Survey will identify any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) within the building and provide recommendations in the accompanying report.