Its use in the UK has been banned for some time, but a large number of buildings constructed before the year 2000 contain asbestos. It’s therefore still a hazard – according to government statistics, asbestos still kills around 5000 workers every year. Below is all the information you need on the dangers of asbestos and how best to deal with it.

What is asbestos and why is it dangerous?

Asbestos is a term used to describe a group of six naturally-occurring minerals made of microscopic fibres. In the past it had a number of applications including flooring, roofing and pipe insulation, and was mined on an industrial scale.

However, research conducted in the early 20th century found that the inhalation of asbestos fibres has a number of potentially fatal consequences. Diseases caused by asbestos include mesothelioma, a cancer affecting the lining of the lungs which is almost always fatal, and asbestosis, a scarring of the lung which can cause shortness of breath and is potentially fatal in serious cases. Even worse, these diseases often only develop many years after the asbestos is first inhaled, and so when they are diagnosed it can often be too late.

How to deal with asbestos

In short – don’t. Asbestos is extremely dangerous, and even a very short period of exposure can have severe long-term health impacts. Disposal of asbestos should be left to licensed professionals with the appropriate equipment and training. If your home contains asbestos, you should be especially careful when carrying out DIY, and any additional personnel such as builders or maintenance workers should be informed of the presence of asbestos-containing materials. For more advice on dealing with domestic asbestos, contact your local council.

Acumen Waste work nationwide to dispose of asbestos safely and in accordance with all the relevant legislation, using our purpose-built containers to transport it straight to landfill. For more information, get in touch by calling 01977 529586.