What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring minerals that have been widely used in construction materials and other industries due to their heat resistance, strength, and insulating properties. However, asbestos is highly hazardous to human health when its fibers are released into the air and subsequently inhaled.
Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause serious health conditions, including:
A chronic lung disease characterised by the scarring of lung tissue, leading to breathing difficulties, persistent cough, and increased risk of respiratory infections.
A rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or other organs. Mesothelioma is primarily caused by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos exposure is a significant risk factor for lung cancer, especially among individuals who smoke or have a history of smoking.
The thickening and calcification of the pleura, the membrane surrounding the lungs. This condition can restrict lung function and cause chest pain.
Due to the severe health risks associated with asbestos, many countries have implemented strict regulations and guidelines for its handling, removal, and disposal. The general approach is to minimise or eliminate the exposure to asbestos fibers to protect workers and the general public.
When dealing with asbestos, the following precautions are typically recommended:
Conducting thorough surveys to identify the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings or structures.
Assessing the risks posed by ACMs, considering factors such as condition, location, and potential for fiber release.
Asbestos Management Plan
Developing a plan to manage and monitor ACMs, including procedures for safe handling, maintenance, and removal if necessary.
Training and Awareness
Providing training to workers who may come into contact with asbestos, ensuring they understand the risks, proper handling procedures, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Safe Removal and Disposal
When removal is necessary, employing licensed and trained asbestos removal contractors to safely handle and dispose of ACMs following established regulations and guidelines.
Regularly monitoring the condition of ACMs and conducting periodic inspections to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
It is crucial to consult and comply with local regulations and guidelines specific to your jurisdiction when dealing with asbestos.