It has been known for many years that asbestos fibres breathed in as dust can lead to severe health problems and even death. Unfortunately, due to the material’s fire retardant properties, it has been used in a wide variety of buildings, and construction work that may require the use of Used Plant Machinery. It is important to be able to recognise and safely dispose of any asbestos that you come across.
A time bomb set to explode
Cancers stemming from exposure to asbestos can take decades to present themselves, with the sufferers often dying agonizing deaths. In 2017 more than two and a half thousand deaths were recorded from mesothelioma, where the linings of various organs are affected. This cancer is generally caused by breathing in asbestos fibres and is usually fatal.
The Health and Safety Executive forecast that deaths caused by mesothelioma will continue at this rate for a number of years, with an eventual decline. The use of brown and blue asbestos for insulation or fire proofing was banned in 1985. White asbestos, thought to be less harmful, was not banned until 1999. It was known that asbestos exposure could lead to debilitating respiratory conditions by the conclusion of the 19th century.
Children at risk
But it is not just construction workers who are at risk of health problems related to inhaling asbestos. Asbestos was also used in schools, and hundreds of schools are believed to be affected, which could have a serious impact on thousands of children’s health. To find out more, see this report in The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jul/04/700-english-schools-reporting agted-over-asbestos-safety-concerns).
If dealing with asbestos, vigorous safety measures must be observed. A spiral duct system can be invaluable for efficiently removing harmful dust from work areas, protecting staff and ensuring the safety of the construction area.
A great deal of asbestos was also used in buildings in Australia, which with the UK, also has a high rate of deaths from mesothelioma. Asbestos poses great risks to the health of anyone exposed to it, and removing it is of vital importance. However, dust produced when asbestos is disturbed can be fatal, and stringent preparation and safety precautions are required for anyone working in an area that has been contaminated by asbestos.