Asbestos will only pose a risk to health if asbestos fibres are released into the air. The fibres are often invisible to the naked eye.
The use of asbestos insulation is now banned, but in the past it was a wonder material and used extensively as a building material.
It was most commonly used as:
- insulating lagging on pipework and for boilers and ducts
- insulating boards, used as wall partitions, fire doors, ceiling tiles etc;
- cement products such as gutters, pipes, decorative plaster, wall, and roof sheeting and cold water tanks.
- spray coating on steel work, concrete walls and ceilings, for fire protection and insulation.
Asbestos fibres kill.
Breathing in air containing asbestos fibre can lead to asbestos-related diseases. These are mainly cancers of the chest and lungs. (Mesothelioma)
Asbestos-related diseases are currently killing an estimated 4000 people a year in Great Britain. This number is expected to go on rising. There is no cure for asbestos-related diseases.
The majority of people now dying were exposed to asbestos during the 1950s and 1960s when the use of asbestos was widespread. But exposure is still occurring. Only by preventing these exposures now, will asbestos-related disease eventually be eradicated.
To reduce the risks of exposure an enclosure is erected to maintain, repair or remove Asbestos Insulation (Crocidolite – Amosite) It is commonly found in buildings which were built or refurbished before 1985, without the enclosure asbestos could be disturbed and asbestos fibres released into the atmosphere.