Why Asbestos Could Still Be A Problem For Your Business

Why Asbestos Could Still Be A Problem For Your Business

Everyone knows asbestos is dangerous, but not everyone thinks it’s something that could impact them or their business.

Exposure to asbestos can have quite complex and severe effects on the body. There’s an increased likelihood of laryngitis, fluid in the lungs, portions of the lungs becoming airless, and an aggressive lung cancer called mesothelioma, which usually takes 40-50 years to show symptoms.

In March 2014, mesothelioma victims who “can’t trace a liable employer” were able to claim compensation packages of £123,000 each on average. When symptoms present themselves, many take legal action, so it’s essential that employers are clued up on how asbestos presents itself.

It can be found in 18 different parts of a building

If you’re not hugely familiar with asbestos and where it comes from, it’s easy to assume it’s found in a building’s walls or insulation and that’s about it. Asbestos can actually be found in 18 different parts of a commercial or residential building, including in cement, vinyl floor tiles, paint coatings on walls and ceilings, and even toilet cisterns. Asbestos can be found in materials used throughout the building trade.

It’s not as much of a relic of the past as you think

When most people think of asbestos, they picture decades-old buildings. Asbestos could be found in any building built before 2000, which is the majority of commercial buildings in the UK. As a result of historical cases, there are still approximately 2,500 asbestos-related deaths in the UK each year, and those numbers aren’t going down.

Over 30 different professions are likely to have been exposed to asbestos

Anyone exposed to asbestos can experience the associated health problems, but those who work with asbestos are the most at risk, especially those who worked in manual industries before 1980.

Firefighters, welders, mechanics, and railroad workers, as well as those who work in construction and electrics, used to be exposed to asbestos regularly and could be at risk of the health complications associated with it.

It’s not always possible to tell if the asbestos has been disturbed

Asbestos is most harmful when disturbed, because the fibres enter the air and can be inhaled. But if you work in an environment where it’s been undiscovered for years, even a drawing pin in a wall lined with asbestos can release fibres, it can. It’s crucial that people don’t enter a room if it’s discovered, and professionals remove the cause as soon as possible.

It’s not always possible to know asbestos is present until people have already been exposed to it, so an asbestos survey and air monitoring from a provider such as EDP UK protects you, your staff, and your business, from any future health problems or legal action.

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