The HSE state that asbestos can be found in any building built before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc) and causes around 5,000 deaths every year – this is more than the number of people killed on the road.
When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed and damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious disease. The diseases often take many years to develop.
B. WHAT IS ASBESTOS?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which comes in several forms and each form is dangerous.
It is used worldwide and mined in many countries such as Canada, Russia, South Africa, India and parts of South America.
Asbestos used to be thought of as a wonderful material. Asbestos fibres are:
- Resistant to heat and fireproof
- Resistant to many chemicals
- Strong: stronger than steel
- A good insulator against heat, frost and noise.
Asbestos has widely been used as a cheap filler for building materials, brake linings, clutches, gaskets and seals.
There are different types of asbestos. It is a generic term used to describe 6 different varieties of fibrous mineral silicate which can be divided into 2 groups:
- Amphibole asbestos: including Crocidolite (blue), Amosite (brown), Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthrophylite; and
- Serpentine asbestos. The only type of Serpentine asbestos is Chrysotile (white) but this accounts for 95% of the world’s asbestos production. Serpentine asbestos is softer and more flexible than amphibole asbestos.
|Mesothelioma UK (@Mesouk)|
|01/11/2018, 12:04||Figures from the Health & Safety Exec show an increase #mesothelioma deaths from 2015 to 2016. twitter.com/H_S_E/status/1…|
Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002