ASBESTOS OVERVIEW

Removing Asbestos Safely

Asbestos overview 

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc). When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

Asbestos related diseases include: 

  • Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract. It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer: Asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as  lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes. 
  • Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal.
  • Pleural thickening: Pleural thickening is generally a problem that happens after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung thickens and swells. If this gets worse, the lung itself can be squeezed, and can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

 

 

There are three main types of asbestos. 

  • Chrysotile: Known as white asbestos. The fibres are soft and fine which can resist high temperatures. Chrysotile was banned in the UK in 1999.
  • Amosite: Known as brown asbestos. The fibres are spikey and have good tensile strength. Used mainly between the 1920s and the late 60s. Amosite was banned in the UK in 1986.
  • Crocidolite: Known as blue asbestos. The fibres are like needles and are the strongest. Crocidolite has been used since the 1880s and was finally banned by the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations in 1985.

Learn more about asbestos 

  • The HSE (The Heath & Safety Executive) – Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. The HSE provides Health and safety information on the dangers and management of asbestos in the workplace.​
  • The Pleural Mesothelioma Center – Part of our mission at PleuralMesothelioma.com is to provide current, reliable data on all topics relating to pleural mesothelioma cancer.
  • Mesotheliomasymptoms.com – Our goal is to provide accurate, relevant information that can be used for general informational purposes and to advocate for greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the realities of mesothelioma.