It’s thought to take years of continual exposure to high levels of asbestos to cause Asbestosis, however research suggests that the symptoms of asbestosis can take over 20 years to appear making safety paramount even when dealing with small amounts of asbestos.
Asbestosis is caused by asbestos exposure and is an extreme form of illness, often resulting in death. If asbestos is disturbed, then the fibres are released into the air and can easily be inhaled. These fibres then settle in the lungs, causing irritation and scarring known as fibrosis. This is irreversible and in extreme cases can lead to asbestosis, where the lungs shrink and breathing becomes difficult and painful.
Disposable PPE suits with respirator masks can help to prevent you from inhaling asbestos fibres, so should be worn when working on a site where asbestos is/or could be present. If you are working with a property built before the year 2000 asbestos may be present in the following areas:
- asbestos cement products (pipes, flues, roofs etc)
- lagging (on pipes and boilers etc)
- water tanks and toilet cisterns
- asbestos insulating board (AIB – which closely resembles typical plasterboard)
- loose asbestos in ceiling and wall cavities
- sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams / columns
- textured decorative coatings (commonly referred to as Artex)
- floor tiles
- textiles and composites
If you suspect asbestos is present, ensure a sample is sent to a laboratory to be tested before continuing work.
Our accredited Asbestos Awareness Courses can help you to understand the dangers of asbestos and the safest ways to work with the substance:
- UKATA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course (Cat A)
- RoSPA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course (Cat A)
- IATP Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course (Cat A)
All courses can be completed online, at a time and place to suit you, with instant qualification.