Asbestos was in use in certain materials in this country until 1999, when it was outlawed. For many decades before, it was used in wall cladding and in other parts of buildings because of its high fire resistance properties, its low cost, and its durability over time. The major problem is that asbestos is also a class-one carcinogen. This means that it is a cancer-causing agent in humans and even animals. It is unwise to take asbestos lightly wherever it is discovered.
A Real Danger to Our Health
Before the dangers of asbestos were discovered, it was used widely in this country and in many others. In fact, some building and construction companies are still involved in litigation resulting from them knowing about the cancer-causing properties of the product and still using it, putting their employees and others in danger.
The tiny asbestos fibres, once released into the air, can enter the airways and lodge in the lining of the lungs. Over time and with enough exposure to these fibres, lethal conditions like asbestosis are likely to occur. Worryingly, a great deal of asbestos remains trapped in our older buildings that were built at a time when its use was not outlawed.
The Ticking Time Bomb
Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that many hundreds of people every year undertake to modify their homes and other buildings without much thought about asbestos. If they happen to come across it in their demolition or renovation, they may even be unlikely to recognise it, and without proper protection, equipment, and professional handling, they are likely to release dangerous asbestos fibres into the local environment, putting themselves and others on-site at risk of inhalation.
Ridding Ourselves of the Asbestos Danger
It may be many decades yet before we are completely rid of asbestos in our buildings, but the really good news is that companies like amicus-environmental.co.uk can be contacted with regard to possible asbestos identification and removal. A company like this provides the following types of services:
- Identification: Are you unsure whether a building is filled with asbestos, or whether you have just discovered some asbestos material? Call out an expert company to identify the material and to determine the cost of removal and remediation.
- Removal: Once any asbestos has been identified, it is important for experts to remove it. They have both the equipment and the knowledge to handle it with care and ensure that nobody on site is exposed to the lethal asbestos fibres. The truth is that no one else will have the protective equipment and the expertise to remove this dangerous material, which is why it is so important to get in touch with a company like this before proceeding with any demolition or building modification work.
The sobering fact is that despite being illegal now, asbestos is still all around us in many older buildings. It may have been a well-accepted and widely-used product once upon a time, but we certainly know about the real dangers it poses now. Any asbestos exposure has the potential to cause major health problems many years down the road. This is why asbestos in buildings is such a ticking time bomb, and also why it is always best to call out the experts with regard to identification, remediation, and safe removal of it.