Asbestos removal โ€“ what are the dangers associated with it?

Before the 1970s, asbestos was a widely used and popular building material. Typically, it is found in pipe and duct insulation, floor tiles, loft insulation and cement asbestos sheets. The reason why this material was so popular is because of its exceptional qualities like resistance to chemicals, water and fire. Also, it was cheap. However, when the industrialised world was intimated about the dangers of asbestos and it was found to be a carcinogen, it was banned in the UK.

Nonetheless, asbestos can still be found in residential, commercial and industrial buildings that were erected or renovated before 2000. Since asbestos removal can be expensive, a lot of people are tempted to remove asbestos from their homes or offices themselves. This is the worst possible idea and Asbestos Boss does not recommend DIY attempts at all. This is because asbestos is highly dangerous and a health hazard. One wrong move and you will be exposing yourself and all the occupants of your building, the neighbours and visitors to the harmful effects of asbestos.

Below we have discussed the potential dangers of asbestos removal.

Asbestos fibres can float through air when disturbed or damaged

Asbestos fibres cannot be seen. Also, it is difficult to identify asbestos products because asbestos is usually mixed with other building materials. For someone with zero experience and training, it can be next to impossible to detect asbestos.

When the asbestos products are unstable or damaged, the fibres can be exposed and they can easily get mixed with the atmosphere. The fibres are so small that they float through the air and can enter into the air ducts. The moment the fibres are floating through the air, they become a serious problem for you and everyone else in your area. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this.

Asbestos fibres can get easily attached to clothing

Asbestos fibres resemble a hook-like structure and they can attach to anything. If you are attempting to remove asbestos, the chances are that the fibres will get attached to your clothing. When you walk elsewhere wearing the same piece of clothing, you are exposing everyone to the potential hazards of asbestos.

This is the reason why asbestos removal specialists at Asbestos Boss wear special PPE kits. The gloves, shoes and overalls are all disposable and once the asbestos is safely removed, our operatives get rid of the PPE kits as well. This ensures that not only you and our operatives, but everyone around is protected.

Asbestos fibres can be inhaled easily

When asbestos fibres are released into the air, asbestos exposure takes place quickly. As already mentioned, the fibres are very small and invisible. They can be ingested through your nose or mouth. This is going to happen without your knowledge and once the fibres are inside of you, it will be difficult to break them down. The toxins cannot be eliminated from your body, and hence, it is best to never put yourself or anyone in the position of ingesting the fibres.

When the fibres are inhaled, they become trapped in the mucus membranes of the throat and nose. If ingested, they get trapped in the digestive tract or into the lungs. The health conditions caused due to asbestos exposure are mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Pleural thickening is also a condition that has been linked with asbestos exposure. Women have complained of ovarian cancer.

You may not immediately see the symptoms of asbestos exposure and it might take 15 to 20 years for your body to start showing signs. But, by that time, the damage is already done and it might prove to be fatal for you.

If you think that your property contains asbestos, call Asbestos Boss and our asbestos removal contractor will arrive at your property to conduct safe removal of asbestos. Our operatives are experienced professionals who have been specifically trained for handling hazardous materials. They are licensed, accredited and follow all the norms laid by HSE and other governing bodies. Since the dangers associated with asbestos are grave, you should never attempt to remove it yourself. You must always trust a licensed professional for the job because it is not worth risking your life.

Is asbestos removal always necessary?

If not dealt professionally, asbestos removal can be extremely dangerous. This is why we follow strict protocols when eliminating asbestos so that we can minimise the risk of inhaling toxic fibres. Whether it is necessary to remove asbestos from your property would depend on the type of asbestos that you have. If the asbestos products are undisturbed or undamaged, they do not pose much of a threat. They can be left as it is without the need for asbestos removal.

If you are not sure, it would be beneficial for you to carry out a thorough asbestos survey to determine whether you are at risk from the ACMs on your property. In the case that asbestos cannot be removed, we can perform asbestos encapsulation in situ to ensure that the ACMs will not harm you in any way.

Final thoughts

Thousands of buildings contain asbestos products and they can pose a risk of health to the people who are working or living on the property. For your peace of mind, contact us. We understand the risks and have the required tools to free your property of asbestos.