Working with Asbestos – Better Safe Than sorry
Many people don’t know that asbestos occurs naturally in nature. It is a kind of mineral that is made up of six microscopic fibers that have a needle-like share. Used since the 19th Century, asbestos is an excellent insulator and fire retardant. It helps strengthen materials and is resistant to corrosion and even electricity.
Asbestos insulating boards were manufactured around the world in vast amounts from the 1930’s up until around 1980, when global manufacture skidded to a hault after the effects of breathing the toxic dust were uncovered.
Before then, in the ‘golden age’ of asbestos usage, it was made into things such as:
- Concrete bricks – to be used in the construction sector
- Plastics – to give strength and to add a fire-retardant quality to the material
- Flooring, walling and piping – to provide insulation ad save money
Test Your Building for the Presence of Asbestos
Before taking on a construction project on an old building, it is essential to get asbestos testing by a qualified individual, to check if it is present in the building. If you are interested in checking your property, check out asbestos removal prices in Perth.
Once breathed in, the fibers are impossible to remove, and can irritate the lungs–causing inflammation, tissue scarring, and eventually, genetic damage such as cancer. Breathing asbestos can cause several severe lung conditions, and a rare and aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma, which is predominantly caused by breathing in asbestos dust.
Asbestos – A Silent Killer
Asbestos has been proven medically to cause some permanent health issues through breathing in the broken fibers. The tiny fibers enter the lungs through the mouth and get lodged deep inside the lungs, becoming trapped.
Many problems occur when workers are unaware they are working in conditions where asbestos is present, so they are breathing normally.
Be very careful if you suspect you may be being exposed to asbestos at the workplace. No amount of exposure to asbestos dust is safe. Always insist on being fitted with asbestos-proof breathing apparatus if you know you are working around it.
Some countries allow you to remove asbestos materials on your own – This is inadvisable, but if
you are going to remove it yourself, follow these safety guidelines:
- Wear a respirator with a high-quality HEPA filter.
- Seal off the entire work area and ensure the air conditioning is switched off.
- Wear disposable overalls and gloves during the removal process.
- Spray water in the air to keep the material wet and help dust to settle.
- Clean the work area with wet-wipes or a damp cloth.
If in doubt, consult professionals before being exposed to asbestos.