Why is asbestos dangerous?

5th April 2024 by ProDEM

Asbestos is a significant health hazard, responsible for various respiratory diseases and cancers. Although banned in many countries, including the UK, this material still poses a threat due to its presence in older buildings. When asbestos-containing materials (ACMS) are disturbed, microscopic fibres are released into the air, where they can be inhaled. Read on to find out why is asbestos dangerous. 

What is asbestos? 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of thin, microscopic fibres. Known for their strength and heat resistance, these fibres were commonly incorporated into construction materials such as roofing, flooring and insulation, as well as being used in automotive and industrial applications. Asbestos had many uses over the years due to its versatility and durability. Despite its usefulness, it was banned in many countries due to its hazardous health effects. This ban came into force in stages in the UK, with blue and brown asbestos banned first in 1985, followed by white asbestos in 1999.

Exposure to ACMs has been linked to serious health risks, including respiratory diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Although it’s no longer used in construction, asbestos is still present in some older buildings, presenting a real risk should its fibres become airborne and inhaled. So Why is asbestos dangerous?

What diseases can asbestos cause? Prodem in Nottingham

When ACMs are disturbed or damaged, for example, during building work, microscopic fibres are released into the air. If they are inhaled, these fibres can become lodged in the lungs and other organs, causing various respiratory diseases and cancers. The diseases most commonly associated with asbestos exposure include:

Are asbestos-related diseases fatal?

Unfortunately, asbestos-related diseases can often be fatal. Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to various serious health conditions, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These diseases can have a significant impact on a person’s health and can ultimately result in death. 

One of the reasons why asbestos-related diseases can be fatal is the long latency periods of these conditions. This latency period refers to the time between the initial exposure to asbestos fibres and the onset of symptoms. ACMs can take decades to develop, with symptoms often not appearing until the disease has become advanced. By this time, treatment can be challenging.

Is secondary exposure to asbestos harmful? 

Many people don’t realise that secondary exposure to asbestos can be harmful, even if individuals haven’t worked with asbestos-containing materials directly themselves. When the fibres travel home on an individual’s skin, hair or clothing, they can quickly transfer to people living in the same household. As a result, family members, including children, may end up inhaling asbestos fibres, increasing their risk of developing diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. As a result, it’s vital that individuals who work with asbestos follow strict decontamination procedures to reduce the risk of secondary exposure.

Asbestos removal contractors in Nottingham

“Why is asbestos dangerous?” is one of the most common questions we get asked here at ProDEM, with lots of people still unsure if they need to remove it from their properties. If you suspect or know there is asbestos present in your home or business premises, we highly advise removing it. 

Since exposure to its fibres can pose such serious health risks, it doesn’t make sense to risk leaving it where it is. At ProDEM, we’re on hand to remove this harmful material safely and efficiently. Our experienced asbestos removal contractors in Nottingham can ensure proper removal and disposal of ACMs, reducing the potential health hazards associated with asbestos exposure. 

ProDEM has been providing asbestos removal services for many years, becoming a leader in our field in the Nottingham area. We can remove asbestos from a wide range of properties, including homes, commercial buildings, industrial sites, and public facilities. We possess the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to handle asbestos removal projects of any size or complexity.

Loughborough Project Image 6The asbestos removal process 

At ProDEM, our asbestos removal process adheres to strict guidelines and regulations to ensure the safe and effective removal of asbestos. Our work starts with an initial assessment and survey of the premises, with our team aiming to identify any asbestos-containing materials present. This allows us to determine the extent of asbestos contamination and identify the correct methods to use for the removal. 

Before we begin removing the asbestos, we’ll prepare the work area, containing it so as to minimise the spread of its harmful fibres. We’ll also ensure that we wear all the necessary PPE when carrying out the job, with coveralls, gloves, and eye protection helping to protect us from exposure to asbestos fibres. 

In many cases, we use the wet removal technique when carrying out asbestos removal. This involves spraying ACMs with water or other wetting agent in order to suppress the dust during removal. This helps keep asbestos fibres at bay, reducing the risk of exposure. 

Contact us 

If you’re still wondering “Why is asbestos dangerous?” or you’re ready to hire our asbestos removal contractors in Nottingham, get in touch to speak to a member of our team. Call us on 0115 775 0307, or, alternatively, send us a message via our website. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.