What is Asbestos? Ways to Handle Asbestos

Asbestos was an essential building material used throughout the UK till the 90s. Today, we do not use this material, for it poses several respiratory diseases. However, if you own any buildings built before banning asbestos, there is a possibility of asbestos within the roof linings and walls.

If the highlighted issues are a concern for you, then continue reading this blog. Here, we will provide a comprehensive understanding of asbestos, its types, and the health risks it poses. Besides, we will discuss the ways to handle asbestos.

An Overview of Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally found mineral throughout the world. It was a significant material used in building construction, especially in the UK, due to its fire-resistance, durability, and low cost. However, scientists found that asbestos has strong links to respiratory health hazards, which led to its banning. 

There are several types of asbestos, such as Chrysotile, Tremolite, Amosite, and Actinolite. Chrysotile is the most common type found in walls, ceilings, and floors. When it comes to health risks, Tremolite is the most dangerous type of asbestos. Besides, Anthophyllite is the rarest type of asbestos.    

Coming into contact with asbestos can cause fatal lung diseases; hence, you should take proper precautions to avoid it. Additionally, we recommend seeking professional help to limit the risks posed due to exposure to loosened asbestos.

Health Risks Pose by Asbestos

Materials containing asbestos pose hazards to human health. Of course, not everyone will develop severe health conditions, but asbestos’ health risks are significant. Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos cause over 5000 death per year. Some of the health risks posed by prolonged exposure to asbestos include:

  • Lung cancer.
  • It can cause diffuse pleural thickening, thereby limiting lung expansion.
  • Scarring of the lungs.

In many cases, these diseases do not develop immediately during the initial exposure. For instance, scarring of the lungs and lung cancer can take 10 to 40 years to develop. Additionally, the risk of developing these diseases is higher when exposed to asbestos for an extended period.

Ways to Handle Asbestos

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos removal is not something that you should carry out without taking proper precautions. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in any of your building structures, then you should seek help from professional asbestos removers. Due to its hazardous nature, trained asbestos removers will always follow certain safe and control working practices. 

Of course, some asbestos removal will not need the help of experts. But the downside is it requires a lab test to determine the types and severity of the asbestos. Hence, the best solution is to hire a licensed contractor.

Asbestos Overcladding

Another way of handling asbestos is by over-cladding, which is a cost-effective refurbishment process. Apart from the cost of hiring a professional asbestos remover, you need to pay for the disposal of asbestos-containing materials in a licensed landfill. For these reasons, asbestos overcladding becomes a cost-effective approach.

However, asbestos over-cladding is not straightforward for non-professionals. Hence, the best step will be to seeking a professional roofer or licensed contractor.

Conclusion

To sum up, continuous exposure to asbestos-containing materials is responsible for the development of fatal lung diseases. As such, you should give importance to its removal, especially if you own any building structures built during the 90s. When it comes to asbestos removal, you should always consider hiring professional contractors.