Asbestos FAQ

Though many people have heard of asbestos and are aware that it can pose a risk to your health, few people are aware of exactly what it is or how it poses this risk. This lack of knowledge is despite various government attempts to ensure that the UK public are more aware of this hazardous material. I will now outline the answers to the most frequently asked questions about asbestos, hopefully by reading this article you will be more aware of the dangers and therefore more cautious should you find it in your home.

Asbestos FAQ 1: What exactly is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that naturally occurs in rock formations including those in the UK. It is primarily made up of hydrogen, oxygen and silicone. For many years it was mined from said rock formations, processed and then used in the construction of buildings due to its favourable characteristics of durability and heat resistance.


Asbestos FAQ2: Why is Asbestos a Problem?

If not adequately dealt with the mineral can pose a severe risk to your health. If it is left undisturbed, it is not in fact a problem. However when it is processed, it is separated into thin layers and then put back together in various shapes. After being in use for many years it was discovered that very small particles were capable of breaking off and becoming airborne. But should it become airborne and is then inhaled it can cause a variety on diseases that are incredibly serious such as lung cancer, asbestosis and Mesothelioma. It is estimated that around 3000 deaths in the UK each year are the cause of asbestos exposure. Many people are often surprised to hear that all of these deaths were caused by exposure often as far back as the seventies as exposure takes between fifteen and fifty years to lead to these illnesses developing.

Asbestos FAQ3: Why was it used in so many buildings in the past?

The reason for this is simply the combination of how effective the mineral is for use in construction work and an innocent lack of knowledge about its potential dangers. The minerals are able to resist incredibly hot temperatures which make it ideal insulation. It not only conserves heat but also protects against fire, corrosion, electricity, noise and even rats. The reason that people were unaware of its potential dangers is that the resulting illnesses that occur as a result of exposure are by no means instant. It can take many years, often decades before illnesses present themselves and those who had been exposed were unaware of their faith for their entire lives. The danger was therefore only uncovered after many people had already been exposed.

Asbestos FAQ4: What should I do if I discover Asbestos in my home?

Due to the fact that exposure only occurs if the asbestos is or has been disturbed, it is essential that you do not touch it. There are many companies that specialise in both asbestos management and removal. It is essential that you contact one of those companies and do not try to do the job yourself.

Back to Top