Asbestos Removal When and why is asbestos a problem?
Why do you need Asbestos Removal? Asbestos is a problem in buildings because exposure to it can lead to one of a number of health issues. The fibres can be inhaled and, once in the lungs, can cause problems later in life. Asbestos fibres can lie dormant in a person’s lungs for between 15 and 50 years, meaning that the diseases caused by asbestos exposure can often occur many years later.
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural thickening. These diseases can be debilitating or even fatal. Each year, an estimated 5,000 people die of asbestos-related diseases (HSE, 2015). For most, their exposure was many years ago. Asbestos exposure, when combined with smoking, can be even more dangerous. If asbestos fibres are not airborne, they are not dangerous. This means that for many schools, the asbestos containing materials are not a significant risk if they are in good condition.
However, if at any time the asbestos could be disturbed, there is a risk that fibres will become airborne, leading to dangerous exposure. Asbestos becomes a problem when the fibres are disrupted and become airborne, making it possible for people to inhale them. This can happen through planned construction or renovation of a building, or if an asbestos containing material is damaged. Asbestos fibres cannot be seen or smelt in the air, and the impact of their inhalation is not immediate. This adds to the danger of asbestos exposure, and underscores why proper management of asbestos today is something that will impact the health of people for decades to come.
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