What is Asbestos?
It is a group of minerals with thin microscopic fibres that are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals and don’t conduct electricity, due to these traits it has been mined and used in various industries; particularly construction and automotive.
If asbestos-containing-products are disturbed, the fibres are released in the surrounding air and can be breathed in; the tiny fibres can become trapped in the lungs and stay there for a number of years and overtime these fibres build up and lead to serious health problems.
Some of these problems include but are not limited to:
- Asbestosis, an inflammatory condition of lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and eventually scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe
- Mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen
- Lung cancer; and Other lung problems, including pleural plaques.
Reduce The Risk Of Asbestos
Before work commences, create an assessment of the area and take into account the possibility of asbestos. If the work has the chance of disturbing asbestos fibres then special precautions will need to be in place to ensure the safety of workers.
Any materials that are in poor or deteriorating condition may require you to take action, so check if it is asbestos, and if so, repair, seal or remove the material in order to control the risk.