Why is asbestos dangerous?

3rd August 2023 by ProDEM

Asbestos is an incredibly dangerous substance that was commonly used in construction projects in the United Kingdom until its ban in the 1990s. It has the potential to cause various life-threatening diseases and has been responsible for a substantial number of deaths over the years. Read on to find out why is asbestos dangerous. 

Asbestos: an extremely hazardous construction material 

Asbestos becomes very dangerous when its fibres become airborne, which means that it needs to be removed by a licenced contractor. There is still a worrying lack of awareness about asbestos and the risks that it poses, which means that some people still try to get rid of it themselves. This hazardous material can also cause considerable environmental problems if disposed of incorrectly. Keep reading to discover the dangers of asbestos. 

Health risksHow do you safely remove asbestos

Asbestos carries a range of health risks. These include lung cancer, mesothelioma and lung cancer. As these diseases can have lengthy latency periods, many people don’t spot any symptoms until years after asbestos exposure. Most exposure happens when people inhale asbestos fibres. Asbestos is not normally dangerous until its fibre disturbance occurs. Once this happens, there’s a big chance of inhalation. These fibres are microscopic and therefore not usually visible. However, they can become airborne during renovation and demolition work.

Friable nature

Asbestos often falls into two types, which are friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos includes asbestos in materials which can easily crumble or turn into a powder. This can release the fibres into the air. Many older asbestos-containing materials include friable asbestos. These include damaged asbestos boards and loose insulation.

Lack of awareness

Another reason why asbestos can be dangerous is the lack of awareness. The health risks associated with asbestos exposure were only made public in the 1980s. This meant that many manufacturing, shipbuilding and construction workers were frequently exposed to asbestos without knowing about its dangers. Many workers developed asbestos-related diseases later in life. Even today, there’s a big chance many people still don’t know just how dangerous asbestos can be, or that they could be dealing with a material that contains it.

Environmental risks

Asbestos doesn’t just pose a risk to humans. It can also be very harmful to the environment. If materials that include it don’t go through proper disposal processes, soil and water sources face contamination. This endangers ecosystems and may affect future generations.

Why was asbestos used in construction projects? 

Asbestos was a popular choice for construction due to its insulation properties and resistance to fire. It was also used to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings and formed a very tough material when it was mixed with cement. However, the emergence of information about its dangers eventually led to a UK-wide ban. 

Has there been a rise in asbestos-related diseases over recent years?

The long latency period of diseases related to asbestos means new cases are still emerging. It’s likely that there will be a peak in the number of asbestos deaths before 2025. Many homes, schools, hospitals and other buildings constructed before 1999 still include asbestos-related materials. This means that asbestos is still far from being a concern of the past. Asbestos is still present in pipes, insulation, roofing and flooring in buildings across the UK. It was recently found in 16 school buildings in Guernsey. The material was used during building work on the schools in the 1970s.

Which regulations govern the management of asbestos-related materials?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 includes guidelines on how to manage and handle materials that include asbestos to protect workers and the public. The regulations require that materials containing asbestos undergo proper identification, assessment and safe removal by trained, licenced professionals with full training. 

Asbestos Removal in NottinghamWho can help with asbestos removal in Sheffield?

Now you know why is asbestos dangerous, you may be wondering who can help with asbestos removal and demolition in Sheffield. At ProDEM, we have many years of experience in safely removing asbestos in South Yorkshire. We can help if you need to remove asbestos before demolition in Sheffield and can assist you whether you’re a residential or commercial client.

We have an outstanding track record when it comes to removing this hazardous material both safely and effectively. Our team can provide you with free site surveys and quotes, with asbestos removal being carried out by our highly trained professionals who can ensure no toxic fibres are disturbed. If the building you live or work in was constructed prior to 1999, there’s a strong chance asbestos could be present in your floors, walls, ceilings or roofs. It’s much better to leave asbestos removal to the professionals to prevent disturbance and risk to health.

Do you need an asbestos survey in Sheffield? If so, we are ready to assist you. If we do find that it is present on your property, we can carry out removal work to give you the peace of mind that you require. We’re also able to provide you with a flawless asbestos disposal service, removing this toxic material from your home or your business premises with a minimum of fuss. You can relax in the knowledge that we only ever use the safest asbestos removal options available to us.

Carry out an asbestos survey before renovation or demolition work

If you are considering altering, renovating or demolishing a building, it’s vital that you find out whether asbestos is present in it before you make any changes. Careful removal and disposal of asbestos minimises the impact of the material on the local environment and community. Why not look at our testimonials page to find out what our customers have been saying about our asbestos services?

Get in touch 

If you’ve been wondering why is asbestos dangerous and think you need to conduct a survey before renovation or demolition in Sheffield, contact us today. You can reach us by giving us a call or by completing the form on our website. We will respond as quickly as we possibly can.