Asbestos; How Dangerous Is It And How Do You Remove It?

To say that asbestos is dangerous is a significant understatement. It can cause cancer and it is responsible for over 5000 deaths every year, to put that into context 1782 people died in traffic related incidents last year in the UK. 

So if your business or home needs asbestos removal, get in touch with our team and enquire about our specialist asbestos disposal services.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to minerals within the serpentine and amphibole families. In total there are six different types of asbestos; these different types are: Chrysotile, Amosite, Crocidolite, Tremolite, Anthophyllite, and Actinolite.

Asbestos is an extremely useful material; with a diverse range of applications. Due to this reason, it’s found in a wide range of places, it’s even found in places where you may not have previously expected it to be. It’s well known for its fire resistant properties, which resulted in it being used as a building material. This meant that it was used in buildings, fibre cement, ship yards; it was even used as an air filter in gas masks used during the second world war.

Asbestos minerals are found all over the world and its extraction dates back to Ancient Egyptian times, however even with all the knowledge regarding the significant health concerns of asbestos, it’s still used and still mined today. In Russia there is a town called Асбест (Asbest) with a large open air asbestos mining pit; in Асбест the local pride for their asbestos mine is so big their town momument is a sizable chunk of asbestos.

Why Is It Dangerous?

Asbestos fibres are extremely small, much smaller than human hairs; so small in fact that they are not visible by the naked eye. Due to this tiny size, they’re very difficult for the body’s natural defences to remove. For example, when air containing asbestos fibres is inhaled, they cause irritation in the lungs. However, due to their small size, these fibres remain in the lungs, which can cause many different health problems over time. This includes Mesothelioma, a type of cancer which affects the lower lining of the lungs; typically caused by asbestos exposure. The symptoms gradually develop over time and include symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. According to the NHS, there are around 2,500 deaths every year as a result of mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma cases are diagnosed in those aged between 60 and 80 with men being more commonly affected than women

However, Mesothelioma is not the only health condition that can be caused by asbestos exposure; two other health conditions that can be caused by asbestos include asbestosis, and lung cancer.

Bonded asbestos or sheet asbestos is sometimes found in the roofs of garages. Sometimes referred to as asbestos cement this form of asbestos can be very dangerous. Asbestos can be lurking in various places in your building. There were many different uses for asbestos; it can be used in walls, floor tiles, ceiling tiles and radiators, just to name a few.

Due to its diverse use of asbestos in different industries and the vast many of applications of asbestos in different products and projects, professionals who could potentially be at risk from asbestos include teachers, plasterers, joiners, ship builders (pre-1980s), electricians, and more. The reason why so many professionals can potentially be at risk of asbestos exposure is because any structure built or renovated before the year 2000 is likely to contain asbestos at some area of the building.

How Can Such A Dangerous Item Be Safety Removed?

If an item containing asbestos is dropped, or if it deteriorates, the deadly fibres can be released into the air, which places those nearby in risk of serious health conditions. As such, it is essential that you do not risk asbestos removal yourself.

As the asbestos fibres cannot be seen, there is no way of knowing if you are at risk of inhaling the fibres. As such, serious steps need to be taken in order to reduce the risk of asbestos fibres being inhaled whilst the material is removed. This includes wearing mask and protective pieces of clothing. The sheets containing asbestos will be kept wet and damp with a mixture of water and a specific wetting agent. The reason the asbestos products will be kept wet is because damp asbestos materials release far fewer fibres into the air. Additionally, the asbestos will be wrapped in polythene and disposed of in a single operation.

To echo the point above, the removal of asbestos is a very dangerous job that requires a specialist set of skills. You should never attempt to remove it yourself; always consult a professional.

Asbestos Removal From BKP Group

Some hazardous waste collection businesses have a minimal weight charge, however at BKP we only charge you for the exact weight of the waste we have removed. The use of asbestos was completely banned in 1999 but asbestos can be present in older buildings so if you’re in need of asbestos disposal, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

You can speak to our team by calling 0800 376 5004, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm. Alternatively, you could contact our team online using one of the following methods.

  • You can send our team an email at sales@bkpgroup.com.
  • You can fill out our contact form and a member of staff will respond as soon as possible.
  • Or you could reach out on Twitter or Facebook @GroupBKP.
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