- August 7, 2018
- Posted by: Mark Stevens
- Category: Coldra Consult Blog
Within the building industry it was considered a fact that asbestos was an extremely efficient material for buildings. This was true many decades ago and accordingly, the substance was used in volume for building insulation from the early 20th century to the 80s decade and, in decrease volume, up until the start of the 21st century. At that point, the use of asbestos material was banned, a ban backed by law in the UK.
Many decades after this substance was first used, it became evident that there was a link between certain diseases and asbestos. This was seen first in tradesmen who worked regularly with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and over time, conditions such as mesothelioma found their way into the public conscience. This particular disease brought with it the fact that it may well not appear in a sufferer for many, many years after that person was first exposed to asbestos.
However, once the health link was made a plethora of services emerged with the goal of identifying and removing such dangerous materials from both commercial and domestic buildings. It is true that even today buildings where asbestos has a presence can still be a risk for those who inhabit them.
What Makes Asbestos Dangerous?
There are a number of reasons that asbestos is considered dangerous but the main one is based on the fact that inhaled asbestos fibres can remain lodged in the lungs for long periods of time. For a person so affected it would mean a slow buildup of these fibres throughout their working life as long as they were exposed to the material. This, in turn, led to a range of cancers for which there is no cure or long-term prognosis. As a result, it is today legally mandatory to remove such material wherever it is found. Needless to say, the number of buildings still containing asbestos materials is uncomfortably high and still posing a substantial risk to the population. It remains very worrying that symptoms of a chronic health condition may not emerge for up to 50 years after first exposure.
Does Your Building Still Contain Asbestos?
If ownership or responsibility for a building is yours and the building was built or renovated before the millennium, then you may have an issue. It is very important that you engage professional help to survey your property and identify the presence of any asbestos-based material. You must understand that if you have employees inhabiting your building than the longer they are exposed to asbestos the greater the potential risk. Act sooner rather than later if you even suspect your building may have asbestos.
As a building owner or landlord, you will need professional assistance to have an asbestos management survey of your premises carried out and any materials identified and tested.