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Asbestos Awareness: 7 Asbestos Facts You Need to Know

Asbestos is one of the top ten natural killing agents in the world. There are 125 million people in the world currently exposed to asbestos-related products. In 2004, asbestos caused 107,000 deaths . The UK has flagged ‘Asbestos facts’ as the highest workplace killer. These seven asbestos facts will help you get an understanding of the key facts about asbestos.  

7 Asbestos Facts related to Asbestos Awareness

In the UK, asbestos is a killing material. You will find asbestos in most of the old houses in the UK. So the following seven facts are going to help you know everything about asbestos. 

1. Know The Asbestos Types

Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that are all composed of long and thin fibrous crystals. Although ‘Asbestos’ is a commercially used term, they are used as excellent insulators and highly heat-resistant products. It is a hydrous magnesium silicate (Mg3Si2O5(OH)4) that owns six branches.  

Asbestos Awareness 7 Asbestos Facts You Need to Know

Chrysotile or White Asbestos

The most common asbestos is white asbestos. It is severely found on roofs, asbestos ceilings, walls and floors, car brake linings, plumbing insulation, and boilers.

Amosite or Brown Asbestos

It is used in pipe insulation, cement sheets, making ceiling tiles, boards for insulation, and in thermal insulation materials. The standard way to identify Amosite is as a needle-like fibre. Amosite is the second most common type of asbestos.

Crocidolite or Blue Asbestos

It is the least heat-resistant of all types of asbestos. Blue asbestos is widely used in insulating steam engines, in some spray-on coatings, as well as pipe insulation and cement products. Uncommon in the UK and New Zealand but still mined in Australia, South Africa and Bolivia.

Actinolite

Not very common or widely used but still a contaminant in some asbestos materials.

Tremolite

It is not commercial asbestos but found as a contaminant in white asbestos and talcum powder.

Anthophyllite

It is highly rare asbestos but found in floor tiles.

2. A Deadly Combo, Stay Away

The scientists from different organizations have come to a unified decision that all types of asbestos are deadly. The USA Department of Health services classified all types of asbestos as cancer-causing substances. 

 

The UK Health Protection Agency said that Amphibole varieties are the most hazardous asbestos (white and brown). So stay away from sniffing/touching asbestos products mentioned above.

3. Asbestos Exposure

Typically asbestos exposure can happen in two ways.

Inhalation

The most common asbestos fact is that you can inhale it. The inhalation risk occurs from asbestos products, old building specks of dust or installing asbestos insulation, older asbestos-containing materials that start to break. In any of these situations, you inhale asbestos as dust floating in free air.

Eating

There are many ways it can happen. The conventional way is drinking water from asbestos-containing pipes, gaskets or even filtering rocks. Asbestos miners face both kinds of asbestos exposure more than all other people.

 

In workplaces, people can be exposed to asbestos by spray coatings, leggings, insulation boards, fibre cement, asbestos millboard and papers, floor tiles, gaskets, bitumen felts, mastics, sealants, putties and adhesive, textured coatings and paints, reinforced plastics.

Become an Asbestos Hazard Expert

4. Asbestos Inhalation Affects the Lung

All kinds of asbestos exposure is a risk. But inhaling asbestos dust has more asbestos effect on people. The effects of asbestos can cause 20% of lung diseases in the UK. The common diseases that asbestos hazard causes-

So if you are a worker in such a situation in any country, try to give another thought. The asbestos risk is as severe as smoking to some point. This is one of the asbestos facts you have to consider.

5. Slow Poisoning Risk

Imagine you worked for 20 to 30 years to earn retirement savings and after 60 you know that you have lung problems or worse, cancer. A crucial fact about asbestos is that it kills you slowly and painfully. The symptoms of mesothelioma (cancer in people’s term) may take 15-20 years to show. 

 

This latency period is quite reasonable among asbestos hazards exposed to people. A study of the University of Warwick shows that people from 60-70 years old are overwhelmingly diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related diseases.

6. UK’s Highest Worker Killer

In the UK, there are almost 5000 workers who die in asbestos-related diseases annually. The asbestos fact was so severe in the UK that the government had to ban this. The projected death toll due to asbestos hazards resulted in 2526 mesothelioma deaths. 


The UK health and safety executive published a report in 30th October 2019 stating that there were 2,230 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in 2018 of which 245 were female, compared with 2,025 in 2017 of which 235 were female. The UK official data collection report will give you a better view of this.

7. Proper Training and Safety Measure

Asbestos is banned in over 60 countries, including the UK and the EU also. Though the USA is not on this list, its government highly regulates asbestos products and the industries. If people in the USA find themselves in asbestos hazards, they may follow some of the mentioned steps:

Everyone must follow such instructions. The UK houses have had asbestos since 50-60 years. So any old house possibly contains asbestos in the roof, ceiling or tiles. The UK government has a detailed article ‘Working safely with asbestos’ that describes DOs and DON’Ts and the necessary law required.

You can also read this blog to know about asbestos awareness.

Become an Asbestos Hazard Expert

Closing note

Asbestos facts are necessary to know because still today Russia, India, Brazil, Mexico mine asbestos. The industries are on profit because people still use asbestos products. So awareness is mandatory in case of asbestos exposure.

August 20, 2020

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