asbestos

Asbestos: What is it and How Do I Deal With it?

August 5, 2019 9:36 am Published by

What is it?

It is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres – before its dangers were known and it was banned in the UK, asbestos was often used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls. It can be present in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000. There are two groups of asbestos. Serpentine, which is Chrysotile (white) asbestos; and amphiboles, which contains Amosite/Grunerite (brown) and Crocidolite (Blue) asbestos. There are three other types of Amphiboles – anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite which have no real commercial use, so consequently are rarely mined. There are two groups of asbestos. Serpentine, which is Chrysotile (white) asbestos; and amphiboles, which contains Amosite/Grunerite (brown) and Crocidolite (Blue) asbestos. There are three other types of Amphiboles – anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite which have no real commercial use, so consequently are rarely mined.

asbestos garage roof

How Can it Harm Me?

When materials that contain it are damaged or disturbed, fibres are released into the air – when they are inhaled they can cause serious diseases, such as lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and pleural thickening.  The risks occur when damage, fire or disturbance to the products cause the asbestos fibres to become loose and potentially airborne. When these tiny fibres are inhaled they do not decompose and remain permanently lodged in the lungs which can lead to fatal diseases as the body attempts to fight these alien fragments.

How Do I Identify It?

It’s difficult to find out if your property contains it – this is why it’s a good idea to get a surveyor or a qualified asbestos professional to take a look at the house as they are more likely to identify asbestos within the property.

You can look out for certain materials that have a high chance of containing it – roofs made from corrugated cement sheeting, for example, or vinyl tiles in bathrooms.

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This post was written by Elizabeth Graney

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