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What To Do If You’re Exposed To Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos

If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos, then it’s important to speak with your GP, as continual asbestos exposure can lead to life threatening diseases including Mesothelioma.  However, small levels of exposure do not tend to develop into serious injuries.

You should speak with your GP if you have the following symptoms and have previously worked with asbestos (or live with someone who has), or have encountered asbestos when completing DIY tasks:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Your GP will advise on the best course of treatment.

Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

The danger of asbestos lies in its particles and fibres.  If these are released into the air and ingested it can lead to the fibres becoming trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and even lungs.  Over a prolonged period of exposure, these fibres begin to cause scarring on the lungs, which can lead to serious illness.

Even though the use of asbestos in construction was banned in the UK in 1999, older buildings may still contain the substance; therefore it’s danger is still a real threat a workers.

Due to the dangers and health impacts asbestos may have on workers, Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s such as Government agencies, have established regulations that impose a duty on employers to keep total occupational asbestos settings within a workplace below an eight-hour, time-weighted average for each day.  Workers must also wear protective PPE equipment.

This can help to reduce exposure and potential illness, whilst Asbestos Awareness Training can help to improve safety and working methods.

Why Is Asbestos Awareness Training Important?

There are three core asbestos awareness training providers:

The courses provide you with a comprehensive understanding of asbestos and its dangers in order to reduce the risk of exposure to this harmful substance.  They cover all the essential asbestos information, such as the different types, the dangers, employee responsibilities and emergency procedures: therefore reducing potential safety issues.

The beauty of these courses is that certification is instant and you’re able to take them online at a time and place to suit.  It’s a great way to train new workers and refresh older workers on the dangers and how to remain safe when working with asbestos.

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When Was Asbestos Banned In The UK?

when was asbestos banned

The dangers of asbestos are very clear, we’ve previously covered it here, but it may surprise you to know that the use of asbestos in building and construction wasn’t fully banned in the UK until 1999.

When was asbestos banned in the UK?

Whilst blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos were banned in 1985, white asbestos (chrysotile) wasn’t banned until 1999; almost 15 years after the initial blue and brown ban. The 1999 ban made it illegal to manufacture and supply an asbestos materials within the UK. 

Why was asbestos banned?

Simply put, asbestos is dangerous to human health.  According to The World Health Organisation more than 107,000 workers die each year from asbestos related diseases.

Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer caused by inhaling asbestos fibres that lodge in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart.  It’s one of the most common illnesses caused by asbestos exposure and the illness can take many years to develop, hence why it’s often found in older patients.  Common symptoms include coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath.

Therefore it’s no coincidence that asbestos awareness is still as important today as it ever was. Many properties and commercial buildings were built pre 1999 in the UK, and therefore contain risk of exposure to asbestos for building and construction workers.  Worker safety when dealing with asbestos is paramount, therefore those working in the confines of asbestos should undertake asbestos awareness training through accredited bodies such as UKATA, IATP and RoSPA.

Is asbestos banned worldwide?

It’s reported that as of March 2019, a total of 66 nations have banned the production and use of asbestos, whilst an additional 10 nations have restricted it’s usage.  Asbestos usage is banned within the EU.

Sadly, asbestos production and usage isn’t banned worldwide.  The material is still sparingly used within the United States, but it does come under the 1973 Clean Air Act restricting it from fireproofing and installation purposes.

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What Does Asbestos Look Like?

What asbestos looks like

Asbestos was used prior to 1999 in the UK across construction and many other industry sectors. Asbestos was introduced to construction for many reasons, however one of the most prominent properties was the stabilising and heat resistant effects; and its use was continued in the UK until asbestos alternatives such as cellulose fibre and polyurethane were developed, with a full ban across all asbestos products in 1999.

There is thought to be 6 million tonnes of asbesto in the UK, with the dangers of asbestos estimated to be within up to 1.5 million properties, both commercial and domestic; and while it is impossible for a layman to identify asbestos at first glance, it is possible to identify a potential risk based on a combination of factors.

With the naked eye, it is impossible to identify asbestos, as microscopic fibres can not be seen. However, if you suspect you have asbestos in your building, you must attempt to identify any manufacturer labels and date of manufacture stamps and consult a professional.

Because asbestos was a component across multiple areas of construction, its appearance varies greatly.

What does asbestos look like in roofing?

Asbestos roofing tiles were significantly cheaper than non-asbestos alternatives and therefore any roofing work carried out on your property before 1984, will almost certainly contain asbestos, and there is also a possibility that if the roofing work was carried out between 1984 and 1999 it contains asbestos. It should be remembered that roofing tiles and roofing cement become fragile with age, and therefore it isn’t advisable to attempt to remove without an expert present. See an example of asbestos in roofing below:

What does asbestos look like in vinyls and flooring?

Asbestos was introduced to vinyl flooring largely because of its strength and durability, and therefore any sheet-laid vinyl, or vinyl tiles manufactured prior to 1980, will almost certainly contain asbestos. It should be noted that while it is probable that the vinyl tiles will contain asbestos, because of the bonding process it is unlikely that the fibres will be released, until the finish is ‘broken’. See an example of asbestos in flooring below:

What does asbestos look like in sprayed coating?

Asbestos was sprayed onto many domestic construction components because of its fireproofing benefits. Often sprayed onto loft insulation, steel beams, wall cavities and underneath roofing, sprayed coating is deemed to be one of the most dangerous forms of asbestos. It is also the most likely to contaminate the air as, if the sprayed form of asbestos is disturbed it would release large quantities of asbestos. Sprayed coatings contain as much as 85% of asbestos fibres, and therefore if you believe that your insulation, beams or cavities have been coated with asbestos, it is important to consult an expert. See an example of asbestos in sprayed coating below:

It is important to air on the side of caution when considering if your building or construction project has asbestos within, and therefore, we would recommend booking onto one of our three Asbestos Awareness Courses;
UKATA Asbestos Awareness Training Course, RoSPA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course, or IATP Asbestos Awareness Training Course.

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Asbestos and Breast Cancer

can asbestos cause breast cancer?

Exposure to asbestos can cause numerous health problems that can be ultimately fatal to humans. One such health issue is breast cancer. While men contract breast cancer, women are 100 times more likely to suffer from it. There have been studies that have found that women exposed to asbestos fibres have higher rates of breast cancer. Despite being more common with males, there are a few mesothelioma cases involving women.

Breast Cancer, Causes and Risks

Breast cancer is a type of malignant cancer that is most common with women. It is the most common type of cancer in women within the UK. Symptoms that lead to women consulting their doctor include lumps, thickened breast tissue, an inverted nipple and changes to the skin on the breast.

An exact cause of breast cancer is not known and is considered to be complex and individual to each case. Cells grow abnormally within the breast tissue and divide rapidly. This causes a tumour, but it is not understood why this happens. There are several defined risk factors for breast cancer and exposure to asbestos may be one.

Risk factors for breast cancer include the genetic make-up as a contributing factor of breast cancer. Other factors include being female and older, family history of breast cancer, being obese, never having a child, radiation exposure, undergoing menopause hormone therapy and drinking.

How Asbestos Exposure Contributes to Breast Cancer

There is evidence that asbestos is a cause of breast cancer in women. Previous thought that asbestos does not contribute to breast cancer has proven inconclusive because studies have shown mixed results. In fact, it is possible that asbestos could cause more than just mesothelioma.

One study in Australia from 2009 had over 3,000 women participate that were all from a town that manufactured asbestos until 1966. Comparing the data to the general population, it found that ovarian and cervical cancer rates were higher. Breast cancer rates didn’t vary at all. However, a UK study found that there was a slight increase in breast cancer in women who lived near an asbestos manufacturer. From the group studied, those with asbestos in their lungs were more likely to contract breast cancer.

It isn’t fully understood how asbestos contributes to breast cancer. Asbestos causes mesothelioma and lung cancer because the fibres are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs and pleura. One theory is that the asbestos fibres move through the lymphatic fluid to the chest and breast tissue. It is also thought that fibres pierce the lung and pleural tissue and migrate into the chest wall.

Mistaking Mesothelioma for Breast Cancer

The diagnosing of Mesothelioma is difficult and it is easy to misdiagnose it as a different type of cancer. As a diagnosis directs what treatment a patient gets, an incorrect diagnosis is potentially fatal. If a patient is getting treatment for cancer they do not have, it could kill them.

Even if a patient undergoes a biopsy, it is difficult to spot cancer cells that are really mesothelioma. The crossover between breast cancer and mesothelioma is quite high in terms of cell structure and organisation.

Breast Cancer Treatment Can Cause Mesothelioma

There are cases where treatments for breast cancer have in fact caused mesothelioma. The radiation used to shrink tumours which, in turn, caused mesothelioma. Radiation therapy helps uses a high-energy beam aimed at tumours which kills cancer cells.

Radiation can mutate DNA in healthy cells, which causes them to become malignant. When a breast tumour is treated, the radiation has to penetrate the skin as well as other areas of the chest cavity, including the pleura. The damage to the pleura can lead to additional cancer including malignant mesothelioma.

How to Educate Yourself About Asbestos?

Asbestos can get into your lungs once it has been disturbed and it still poses a threat today. With asbestos found in homes, schools and many unexpected places. SSD Online Asbestos has a selection of online asbestos awareness courses. Approved by IATP, RoSPA and UKATA, each course will give you the knowledge required to work safely with asbestos.

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When Is Asbestos Dangerous?

When Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is dangerous because its fibres enter the human body through breathing them in. The substance itself is not considered dangerous when it is left undisturbed. However, when disturbed it releases dust or fibres into the air which can then be ingested. The fibres then become attached within the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. These can be removed, however fibres are likely to pass deep into the lungs or the digestive tract. Once asbestos fibres are trapped in the body, they will cause health problems.

There are numerous asbestos-containing materials around the world which are in everyday use. These fall under two broad types of asbestos: friable and non-friable.

What is Friable Asbestos?

Friable asbestos refers to asbestos that can be crumbled by hand which releases fibres into the air. Materials that are friable are more likely to release levels of asbestos in the air that poses risks to health.

Examples of friable asbestos materials are:

  • Fire retardants sprayed with asbestos
  • Types of thermal lagging such as pipe insulation
  • Low density boards
  • Sheet vinyl underlay or backing

What is Non-Friable Asbestos?

Non-friable asbestos (also known as bonded asbestos) is asbestos-containing materials that are firmly bound within the material itself. If left undisturbed, these materials will not release dangerous levels of asbestos so they pose a lower risk of health. Examples of bonded asbestos-containing materials include:

  • Cement products with asbestos (sheeting used in walls that are flat and corrugated, ceilings and roofs, moulded items like downpipes)
  • Vinyl floor tiles (if you remove the glue then it becomes friable)
  • Ceiling tiles

Any damage or deterioration of asbestos-containing materials will increase their friability. Fibres can be released through water damage, continuous vibration and aging. Physical impacting of materials by buffing, cutting, drilling, grinding, sawing or striking can break materials down, increasing the likelihood of fibres releasing.

Health Effects of Asbestos

Asbestos fibres are hard to destroy, meaning the body cannot break them down once they become lodged within the lungs and body tissue. By remaining in place, they will cause disease. In the UK there are around 2,500 deaths from asbestos-related diseases each year.

There are three main diseases that are caused by asbestos exposure:


Asbestosis is a serious respiratory disease caused by fibres aggravating lung tissue, causing them to scar. The symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound heard in the lungs when inhaling. Once the disease reaches the advance stages, it may cause cardiac failure.

As the disease is usually disabling or fatal, there is no treatment for asbestosis that is effective. The risk of contracting asbestosis is low for those who do not work with asbestos daily, and neighbourhood or family exposure is very rare. If you work in demolition or renovation, the risk is high depending on the age of the building, the nature of the exposure and precautions taken.

Lung Cancer

People who mined, milled and manufactured asbestos and its products have an increased risk of lung cancer than the general population. Symptoms of lung cancer include coughing, a change in breathing, shortness of breath, persistent chest pains and anemia.

A HSE study into the Joint Effect of Asbestos and Smoking found that if you are exposed to asbestos and are also a smoker, the risk of developing lung cancer is greater than those just exposed to the fibres.


Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and (albeit rarely) heart. The vast majority of mesothelioma cases are linked to exposure to asbestos. According to Cancer Research UK, there are around 2,700 mesothelioma cases in the UK each year with 2,500 deaths linked to the disease each year.

What Determines the Risk of Developing Asbestos-Related Diseases?

 1. The amount of exposure and duration

If you are exposed to asbestos for longer periods of time, the more fibres will enter the body, which increases the likelihood of developing health problems.

2. Whether you’re a smoker 

If you smoke and have been exposed to asbestos, you are likely to develop lung cancer more than who doesn’t. The only way to reduce risk is to stop smoking.

 3. Age 

The incidence rate for Mesothelioma is highest in 80 to 84-year-olds in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. It’s dangerous to children if they are exposed, which is why measures must be put in place to avoid exposure to asbestos in schools.

How To Protect Yourself from Asbestos Exposure?

The best ways protect yourself from asbestos include avoiding asbestos altogether (if possible) but if you are exposed to it, you need to make sure you are wearing protective gear. If you work around asbestos, it is vital you educate yourself. SSD Online Asbestos offers online asbestos awareness courses for you:

Participants can take the courses online with 24-hour access available, so they can be taken at any time. They can usually take no longer than two hours and instantly generate a certificate. Education is the best protection from contracting asbestos-related exposure.

For more information, get in touch with the asbestos specialists today.

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Asbestos in Schools: What You Need To Know

the dangers of asbestos in schools

In the UK, three-quarters of schools are reported to contain asbestos materials within their buildings. Between 1945 and 1975, the use of asbestos was frequent in the construction of schools, as part of the UK’s school building programs. 14,000 schools during that period were built with asbestos, especially in the construction of temporary buildings and thermal insulation. It wasn’t until 1999 that asbestos use was banned in the UK. With the hazardous fibres on site, it remains a danger for teachers and pupils while it is still there.


Why is Asbestos a danger in schools?

Asbestos causes fatal diseases such as Asbestosis and Mesothelioma which can be contracted from breathing in asbestos fibres. It doesn’t affect a person immediately as the fibres will attack the lungs over time. With an average 30-40 year period between exposure and onset of disease, it is a slow killer.

According to the National Union of Teachers, over 200 teachers have died from mesothelioma – an aggressive form of lung cancer – in the UK since 2001. The danger doesn’t end there, as government research found that children exposed to asbestos are five times more likely to contract mesothelioma than adults aged 30.

The Health and Safety Executive says asbestos presents a “very low risk” to people in schools if it is properly managed. However, any presence of asbestos materials means there is always a risk to anybody who might come into contact with it.


Where is Asbestos found in schools?

There are various Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that can be found within many schools built before 2000. These include:

  • Asbestos lagging used on pipes and boilers for thermal insulation.
  • Sprayed asbestos used in thermal insulation, fire protection and ducts.
  • AIBs (asbestos-insulating board) used for thermal insulation, fire protection, ducts and partitioning.
  • Ceiling tiles.
  • Floor tiles.
  • Roofing and guttering.
  • Textured coatings.

Poor maintenance of a school building can increase asbestos exposure from any of these ACMs. With tight budgets at the disposal of schools, most boards will opt to buy books, computers and other equipment needed for students. This means the upkeep of a building becomes a low priority. For this reason, effective asbestos management is required to keep everybody safe.


Who is most at risk from Asbestos exposure in schools?

Anybody who is working on maintenance, repair and construction activities on school premises could disturb asbestos fibres, and cause exposure to air. School caretakers are most at risk because of the nature of their work within the building. Teaching staff and pupils are unlikely to be at risk from asbestos materials during their normal everyday activities, however, there could be an asbestos risk if pupils are asked to pin or tack their work into insulation boards or ceiling tiles.


Should parents be concerned about Asbestos in schools?

Under health and safety regulations, parents do not have to be informed if their child’s school contains asbestos. However, it is the duty of the school to ensure it is managed well so there is no danger of exposure. The Local Education Authority is responsible for managing asbestos on-site for community schools, but it is the school governors who are responsible in academies and free schools.


What can be done to test your Asbestos?

Testing for asbestos can be done quite easily. ACMs should be monitored by visual inspection and checking for signs of any damage to the materials. If there are no signs of damage – such as visible debris, dust or asbestos in poor condition – then the risk of the spread of asbestos fibres is low. Thorough monitoring needs to take place regularly to ensure no damage has taken place that puts everybody under threat.

If construction work is expected to take place, a school must contact a qualified asbestos remove professional to make the site safe.

When remedial work is scheduled, an asbestos survey should take place to ensure pupils and staff are safe on site. If the survey finds any potential issues, then it is possible that the school could close temporarily. However, a school could postpone such work until holiday periods to minimise risk of exposures to asbestos.


Asbestos Training

Any school staff members likely to encounter asbestos in their work, must take asbestos awareness training. Online asbestos awareness courses are there to inform professionals on the exact dangers of asbestos, and the harm it can cause on exposure. The courses also teach you how to manage asbestos within your building. The best courses are provided by IATP, RoSPA and UKATA, and are imperative in ensuring your school is complying with asbestos regulations. School leaders who are responsible for deciding if asbestos treatment is required should also attend an awareness course.

You can book your online asbestos awareness courses with SSD Online Asbestos today. Contact us for more information on all of courses.

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A Brief History of Asbestos

A Brief History of Asbestos

The history of Asbestos is a long and dangerous one. Once discovered, it was put to many uses due to its inflammability and cheap cost to mine. The use of asbestos in construction means there are many buildings throughout the world still containing this harmful substance – its deadly nature not fully realised until the early 20th century. In fact, just over half of the schools in the North West of England still contain asbestos. This is because it can be found in any industrial or residential building constructed before the year 2000. Its wide use means it can also be found in many unexpected places such as books, toilet seats and crayons.


What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the term for a group of silicate minerals made up of microscopic fibres that can cause severe damage to the lungs when breathed in. People exposed to asbestos are likely to suffer from asbestos related diseases such as Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. The fibres attack the lungs over a long period of time, causing breathing difficulties for any person suffering from the diseases. Mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by continuous exposure to asbestos. Due to the severe nature of asbestosis and mesothelioma, many people sadly die with over 1,000 cases a year recorded in the UK.

Where did this deadly mineral come from and why has it been used so much despite its dangers? Below is a brief history of asbestos.


A Natural Mineral 

Asbestos is a natural substance that is mined from the ground. It is dug out of the Earth’s surface with Russia the biggest supplier of the fibres. There isn’t just one type of asbestos but six. Each fibre is defined mostly by their colour.

The process of asbestos mining is completed via an open put. Its rawest form, it looks a lot like wood. Once separated from the earth and other matter, asbestos is refined into fluffy fibres. The fibres are mixed with a binding agent which is very similar to cement. Any sheets and pipes made from asbestos are not 100% asbestos – instead a product that contains asbestos.


Asbestos in Ancient Times

The use of asbestos has been mined and in production for over 4,000 years. It wasn’t until the 19th century that it started to be mined on a larger scale. It was during this period that asbestos was used in the construction of homes.

Uses of asbestos in ancient times were quite varied. Archaeologists discovered asbestos covered debris that dated back to the Stone Age. By 4000 B.C. the fibres were used as wicks for lamps and candles. In Egyptian times, embalmed pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth to protect the bodies from any deterioration.

Scholars claim that the word asbestos actually derives from the Ancient Greek term “sasbestos” which meant inextinguishable. The fibres were invincible to the intense heat the Greeks used for their cooking and for keeping warm.

Despite using asbestos for its unique properties, the Greeks and Romans also made note of its harmful effects on people. Ancient stone quarries would mine the material and Greek geographer Strabo witnessed a “sickness of the lungs” in those slaves who weaved asbestos into cloth. Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher, named asbestos as the “disease of slaves”. He also described how the asbestos workers would use a thin membrane from the bladder of a goat or lamb in an attempt to protect them from inhaling the harmful fibres.

Despite these noted health issues in ancient times, it would take until 1924 for the first case of asbestosis to be diagnosed.


The Industrial Revolution 

During the Industrial Revolution, the UK helped make asbestos incredibly popular again. With powered machinery and steam power filling factories across the land, an effective way of controlling the heat they generate was needed. The insulating nature of asbestos fibres made it perfect for steam pipes, turbines, ovens and kilns.

Demand increased for asbestos, so the first mines were opened in Quebec, Canada in 1879. Asbestos mining in Russia, Australia and South Africa followed soon after. This led to more cases of lung complaints being reported by 1900. Lung sickness and pulmonary patients who had worked in factories and mines using asbestos were becoming more common.

The health risks didn’t stop asbestos coming an incredibly important part of the United States railroad infrastructure. Asbestos would help prevent heat build up and a fluctuation in temperature in steam powered trains. It also helped further when the trains switched to diesel.

The shipping industry started to use asbestos by World War II. It acted as insulation for components that were subjected to high temperatures. The automobile industry adopted asbestos for brake and clutch lining while the construction industry used it for insulation, siding and cement.


Asbestos is Banned in the UK 

By the late 20th century, the health risks attributed to asbestos was apparent and despite lobbying from the asbestos industry, countries began to ban its use. In 1985, the UK Government banned the use of amosite and crocidolite, leaving chrysotile the only allowable asbestos fibre. The European Union banned chrysotile in July 1999 and the UK followed suit a month later, well ahead of the five year deadline set by Brussels. These asbestos regulations were vital in decreasing future health risks such as lung cancer because of its use.


Introduction of Asbestos Awareness Courses

With workers completing projects on buildings before the year 2000, asbestos awareness training was needed to educate the workforce as part of occupational health and safety. Construction workers, contractors, carpenters, electricians, plumbers or any professional likely to come in contact with asbestos needed this course. There are a few to choose from:

SSD Online Asbestos are a leading provider of asbestos awareness training online. Get in touch with us today to get your workforce properly trained on the danger of asbestos.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Asbestos

Five Things You Didn't Know About Asbestos

In 1999, the use and distribution of asbestos was completely banned in the UK. However, despite the British government making the public fully aware of the dangers of asbestos, knowledge on the substance isn’t widely known. With it being used in every building project before 1999, the chances of a person coming into contact with it is high. In September 2018, concerns were raised for emergency workers and survivors who were exposed to asbestos after the Grenfell Tower fire. Risks like this are real, with over 2,500 people dying a year from asbestos-related diseases.

To become more familiar with this dangerous substance, here are five things you may not know about asbestos.

1. There are six forms of Asbestos 

Most people think asbestos is a single material, however, it is actually the umbrella term for six different materials. These materials have similar properties including resistance to heat as well as being very strong and chemically inert. As a heavy duty building material, asbestos holds a variety of uses and is often used for thermal insulation.

Within the UK, you will find either white (chrysotile), brown (amosite) or blue (crocidolite) asbestos. The other forms (tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite) are much rarer on these shores. This was because they weren’t used commercially.  

2. Asbestos causes several medical issues

No matter which form of asbestos you encounter, all the fibres are dangerous to human health. Once asbestos fibres are inhaled into the lungs, they can cause huge health risks. The fibres are known to cause asbestosis, mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs), lung cancers and malignant pleural disease. These are the causes of over 2,500 asbestos related deaths each year in the UK.

3. Medical issues go undetected for years

The most dangerous aspect is the fact that asbestos-related symptoms are often  not detected for 20 to 50 years. This means that those exposed may not know until it is sadly too late to cure. However, exposure to asbestos fibres does not automatically mean you will become ill, it just increases the risk of developing complications.

4. Mining of asbestos fibres is still happening 

Despite many  studies showing the dangers of asbestos exposure to human health, the practice of mining the fibres is still happening today. According to Chemistry World, Russia remains the top producer with one million metric tonnes being mined as recently as 2015. China mined over 400,000 tonnes while Brazil and Kazakhstan follow in third and fourth place, respectively. The biggest importers of asbestos are India, China and Indonesia.

5. It has been used in several unusual places

Asbestos can be found in a variety of unexpected places. In the 1930’s, toothpaste manufacturers used the fibres because of the abrasive qualities it possesses. Cigarette filter paper also contained asbestos for a while. In Hollywood, it was used as fake snow. If you watch The Wizard of Oz from 1939, you will see Dorothy, Lion and Scarecrow showered in asbestos snow – it was a regular thing for wintry scenes at the time. With many products containing asbestos, it poses a risk for anybody to find the substance  in the home or at work where they least expect it.

How can I educate myself on the dangers of asbestos?

For the general public, reading materials online (including our blog) will help build an understanding of the risks and dangers posed by asbestos. For those who work on construction sites, the likelihood of exposure to asbestos fibres is greatly increased. To comply with health and safety regulations, an employer should send you on a regular asbestos awareness course to ensure that you are fully prepared to work  with it. SSD Online Asbestos can provide these courses for you. Our courses have been approved by UKATA, RoSPA and IATP.

For more information on our online asbestos awareness courses, please get in touch with us.

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What Are The Health Problems Related to Asbestos?

asbestos dangers

There’s nothing more terrifying than knowing your health is at risk, and fearing that something will affect your well-being. Asbestos is a toxic material that was used in buildings to help with fireproofing and insulation. Online Asbestos is here to provide workers with a convenient, fast and effective way to earn certification from asbestos awareness training courses. Online Asbestos specialises in offering certified and industry approved online training courses for asbestos awareness, including the cheapest online UKATA course in the UK.

The Health Effects of Asbestos

Asbestos contains a material that is not considered to be harmful unless it releasing dust or fibres into the air, where it can be inhaled or ingested. Asbestos has many serious long-term effects if the body is exposed to it. Many of the fibres become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. While they can be removed, some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive system.

Exposure to Asbestos increases your risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, but it does not guarantee you will develop one. If you are exposed to Asbestos, it is important to tell your doctor, especially if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, or pain in the chest.

Asbestos Linked to Lung Cancer

Other than smoking, Asbestos is one of the most common causes of lung cancer. This is commonly found with people who directly work in mining, milling and manufacturing. The symptoms of Lung Cancer include; consistent coughing, and change in breathing also shortness of breath, persistent chest pains and anaemia. However, cigarette smoke is still considered to significantly increase risk risk of developing lung cancer, compared to people who have only been exposed to Asbestos.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops a thin layer over internal organs. The most common area that is affected is the lining of lung and chest wall. More than 80% of mesothelioma happens due to the exposure to Asbestos. Prevention centres around the country are using radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy to help combat Mesothelioma.

The effects of Asbestos

Breathing in Asbestos fibres over many years causes scarring of the lungs. A study by Marcel Goldberg showed that a worker who were used to Asbestos in their occupational setting, suggested that not everyone is equally affected when exposed to the same levels of Asbestos. An individual’s susceptibility to developing an asbestos-related disease is likely to be determined by several factors including; genetics, smoking history, and timing of initial exposures.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s such as Government agencies, have established regulations that impose a duty on employers to keep total occupational Asbestos settings within a workplace below an eight-hour, time-weighted average for each day. However, these regulations do not establish safe levels for Asbestos exposure. This is to reduce the risk for workers to help find excess cancer even below that level and that there is minimum safe threshold level.

If you would like to contact us to discuss any of our courses or products, then please call 01237 477 931 or email us at, and you will be directly connected to one of our advisors. SSD Online Asbestos offer asbestos awareness training courses at competitive prices:

Get in touch with us to help you find the right course for you.

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What Is An Asbestos Survey?

Having an asbestos survey is important to ensure that the right measurements and procedures are in place. Online Asbestos is here to provide workers with a convenient, fast and effective way to check have a awareness training. Online Asbestos specialises in offering certified and industry approved online training courses for asbestos awareness, including the cheapest online UKATA course in the UK.

What Is An Asbestos Survey?

An Asbestos Survey is a thorough inspection of a premises, providing sufficient information about risk assessments, Asbestos registers and management plans. A individual must register for an Asbestos survey. For those who want to plan or initiate maintenance and want to be consulted before the work begins.

The survey includes sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of Asbestos-containing materials. This type of survey usually varies from the lifespan of the premises, as it may be needed to be inspected several times over.

An Asbestos survey is classified into two types; the Management Survey and the refurbishment/demolition survey. Choosing the right type of survey is critically important to ensure that the correct measures are being made.


Why Do I Need An Asbestos Survey?

Having an Asbestos survey is important to ensure that everything is done. The Asbestos Survey Guide is a there is help manage Asbestos in your premises. Whilst filing for an Asbestos survey, it is important to provide accurate information concerning the location, amount and condition of Asbestos-containing materials (ACM).

This should be access to the level of damage, and the level of deterioration, so the right amount of action can be required. This will help to identify all the Asbestos-Containing Materials that will be removed before the refurbishment work or demolition.

The Control of Asbestos regulations requires a potholder to identify the location and the condition of Asbestos. This will help to create a written Asbestos Management Plan, to ensure that all potential risks are all managed.


What type of Asbestos Survey Do I Need?

As shown above, the Asbestos Survey varies significantly depending on the type and size of the property. It can also depend on the age, structure and design of the property. As displayed, the diagram below looks at all the questions that will be asked before choosing and conducting the type of survey that will be applied.  Make sure that you doing everything right beforehand, is crucial to ensure that you’re not harming yourself and others in the process.

If you want to make sure that you’re getting the right survey done for your property get in touch with us to help you find the right course for you.

Image Alt: Types of Asbestos Surveys

If you would like to contact us to discuss any of our courses or products, then please call 01237 477 931 or email us at, and you will be directly connected to one of our advisors. SSD Online Asbestos offer each of these at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to help you find the right course for you.

Depending on the type of survey you choose, SDD Online Asbestos offer each of these at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to help you find the right course for you.