Asbestosis, Asbestos Lung Cancer, Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer, Pleural Disorders

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Why is asbestos so dangerous?

Asbestos fibres are present everywhere in the environment, however these are generally at a low acceptable level. The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is increased when the number of fibres breathed in is increased. Working on or near damaged asbestos containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres can increase your chances of getting an asbestos related disease.

Over 4000 deaths a year are attributed to asbestos (source HSE),  four main diseases can be caused by asbestos:

  • mesothelioma (always fatal)
  • lung cancer (almost always fatal)
  • asbestosis (not always fatal, but very debilitating)
  • diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal)

These diseases generaly will not affect you immediately but later on in life, so there is a need for you to protect yourself from contracting an asbestos related disease in the future. It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

Further information on the diseases can be found here: HSE Asbestos Diseases Stats

A good source of further knowledge on the subject can be found on wikipedia here:  Wikipedia Asbestos

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material, it has been used since the 50's in the UK as an insulator (keeping things hot or cold), it  also has good fire retardent properties and protects from corrosion. Asbestos has been mixed with other materials that make it hard to detect, it is likely that asbestos could have been present in any building or property pre year 2000.

Common uses such as ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, spray coatings, boilers etc could hide this hidden killer.

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