Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been widely used in construction and other industries for its heat-resistant and insulating properties. However, asbestos fibres are extremely fine and can easily become airborne, making them a serious health hazard when inhaled. That’s why, if you suspect your property to contain Asbestos, it’s extremely important to hire professionals who can conduct an asbestos surveys in London.
Where can you find asbestos
Asbestos can be found in a variety of products and materials, including insulation, roofing, flooring, and fireproofing materials. It is also commonly found in older buildings and homes, particularly those constructed before 1999.
The most serious side effect of asbestos exposure is the development of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest, and abdomen. Other health effects of asbestos exposure include:
Asbestosis (a lung disease characterized by scarring and inflammation).
Pleural plaques (thickened, fibrous areas on the pleura, the lining of the lungs and the chest wall).
Symptoms of asbestos exposure may not appear for many years and, in some cases, may not appear at all. However, when symptoms do appear, they can include shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent cough, and difficulty swallowing. If you have been exposed to asbestos and experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Types Of Asbestos Poisoning
Mesothelioma is particularly deadly, with a median survival time of just 12-21 months after diagnosis. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, and treatment options are limited to surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Asbestos exposure can also lead to other lung-related illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques. Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibres, which can cause inflammation and scarring in the lungs, leading to difficulty breathing and a persistent cough. Pleural plaques are benign (non-cancerous) growths on the pleura (the lining of the lung and chest wall) that can cause chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Risks Of Asbestos Poisoning
The risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases increases with the number of asbestos fibres inhaled and the length of time of exposure. People who have worked in industries where asbestos was commonly used, such as construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing, are at a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
Smokers who have been exposed to asbestos are at an even higher risk of developing lung cancer. This is because smoking damages the lung’s natural defence mechanisms, making it easier for asbestos fibres to cause harm.
How To Reduce The Risks?
To prevent asbestos exposure, it is important to avoid contact with asbestos-containing materials, particularly in older buildings and homes. If you are planning to renovate or demolish an older building, it is essential to have it inspected for asbestos before beginning any work.
If you are living in a home or building that contains asbestos and cannot be removed, it is important to have it properly sealed to prevent the release of fibres. If asbestos fibres are disturbed, they can become airborne and increase the risk of exposure.
Workers in industries where asbestos is present should follow proper safety procedures to minimize exposure. This includes wearing protective gear, such as respirators, and regularly showering and changing clothes to remove any fibres that may be on the skin or clothing.
In conclusion, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been widely used in construction and other industries for its heat-resistant and insulating properties, but asbestos fibres are extremely fine and can easily become airborne, making them a serious health hazard when inhaled. Symptoms of asbestos exposure may not appear for many years and may not appear at all. However, when symptoms do appear, they can pose serious risks. It is therefore, very important to have professionals complete an Asbestos Survey when buying, renovating or altering a property.