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WHAT IS ASBESTOS?


Asbestos was extensively used as a building material in the UK from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s.

It was used for a variety of purposes and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. Any building built before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc) can contain asbestos.

Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials are damaged.

 

Did you know that every week...

3 plumbers die
20 tradesmen die
6 electricians die
6 joiners die

...all from this hidden killer.

 

 


Why is Asbestos so dangerous?

Asbestos fibres are present in the environment in Great Britain so people are exposed to very low levels of fibres. However, a key factor in the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is the total number of fibres breathed in. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels could increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.

When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4000 deaths a year. There are three main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal) and asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating).

Remember, these diseases will not affect you immediately but later on in life, so there is a need for you to protect yourself now to prevent you contracting an asbestos-related disease in the future. It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

 

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