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Asbestos Cancer

Despite multiple, many would say delayed, efforts on the part of the UK government, there is still a widespread lack of knowledge about asbestos cancer and various misconceptions floating about the place. The biggest fear that many people have of course is somehow finding asbestos in their home and exposing themselves or their family. This fear however combined with ignorance on the subject can be a dangerous thing as in many cases it is only attempting to remove asbestos from your home that could lead to you becoming exposed. People generally have three main questions that they want answered when they are worried about asbestos cancer and I will now outline the answers to them.

What is the likelihood of my home containing asbestos?

It is possible for asbestos to be found in any home that was build prior to the year 2000. Though regulations were in place prior to this, it was allowed for some purposes all the way up until 1999. The most likely places to find asbestos are on the roof and exterior walls particularly roof sheets and tiles as well as panels beneath windows.

Boilers and pipe work are other common areas including the lagging, paper lining and flue of the boiler and it can also be found in some interior walls, particularly panel lining and panels that cover electrical equipment.

How does asbestos cause asbestos cancer?

The two main forms of asbestos cancer are lung cancer and mesothelioma. Both can easily be caused by exposure but not from exposure to asbestos that has not been disturbed. When asbestos is processed it is separated into incredibly thin layers and then put back together. Once it is put back together if it is disturbed tiny particles can break off and become airborne. They are both impossible to see with the naked eye and capable of floating in the air for hours. Asbestos exposure involves those particles being inhaled and this is the means by which asbestos cancer is caused. The reason that the relationship was not discovered for such a long time is that it takes between fifteen and forty years for the fatal illnesses to actually develop as a result of the exposure. Many of those dieing today were infected as far back as the seventies. The current rate of fatalities in the UK is estimated to be around three thousand annually.

What should I do if I find Asbestos in my home?

As explained above asbestos cancer is only caused by exposure to disturbed asbestos and the particles that come off of it. If you find it in your home and it is completely intact you are not in any immediate danger. The important thing to do is either study up on how to effectively manage it or hire a professional to do an inspection. Many companies specialise in asbestos management and removal and upon coming to your home they will even test the air to ensure that no particles are present. Many people find that this alone is worth the call out charge. The most important thing to remember about asbestos cancer is that it is caused when the asbestos is disturbed so never try to remove it without the required knowledge to do so safely.

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