Asbestos Exposure

Almost everyone has heard of asbestos but aside from knowing that it is dangerous few people are actually aware of exactly what it is, what its risks are and how best to deal with those risks. It is this lack of knowledge that can make asbestos so dangerous as the natural first thought to remove it is actually exactly what can lead to asbestos exposure.

What is Asbestos and where is it found?

Asbestos is a fibrous silicate material that was extensively used in the past for a variety of purposes due to both its strength and incombustible characteristics. It can handle extremely high levels of heat and is therefore commonly used for both fire proofing and insulation. Though now banned, it was allowed to be used in construction at a time when many of the UK's buildings were built. Therefore if your house was built prior to the year 2000, it is possible that your home may contain asbestos.

How dangerous is Asbestos exposure?

Asbestos exposure is estimated to be the cause of a pretty shocking three thousand deaths in the UK alone per year. And if this statistic is making you wonder why the material is not better controlled then the answer is that nowadays it properly controlled. The problem is that the people who are currently dieing were likely to have been exposed to material as far back as the sixties and seventies as it generally takes between fifteen and fifty years for the asbestos exposure to actually lead to the development of fatal illnesses. These illnesses include but are not limited to mesothelioma and lung cancer. Many of the people currently dieing as because of exposure were simply factory workers that were unlucky. Back then, the dangers were simply not known and they were only discovered as statistics showed that an unusually high number of people dieing from these diseases had worked with asbestos at some point in their lives.

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

You may now be wondering what you should do if you discover it in your home.
A more suitable question to ask would be what you should not do. If you do not know all that much about the material, it is very important that you do not touch it. You are more than likely aware of this already but in case you are not asbestos exposure occurs only if it is disturbed because doing so can cause tiny asbestos particles to break off and become airborne. It is the inhalation of these particles that lead to asbestos exposure. There are many companies that specialise in both asbestos removal and management. They will be able to not only explain to you what the best course of action is but they can also check the air inside your home in order to guarantee that nobody in your family could have already suffered asbestos exposure. You may even find that it will not need to be removed as removal is often considered a last resort due to the danger involved in the process.

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