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Asbestos the Silent Killer

Christopher Angus

An article about the history of asbestos and the potential future problems asbestos may cause. People fear that asbestos could cause an epidemic if it is not removed from places of business and homes quickly and appropriately. Despite the fact the government banned the importation of blue and brown asbestos over twenty years ago and finally banned white asbestos in 1999, 3500 people currently die every year from asbestos related diseases. Be it the lung choking “asbestosis” or the cancer “Mesothelioma” these diseases make asbestos the biggest industrial killer today. In the 50’s and 60’s following World War 2, millions of tons of raw asbestos was imported into the UK to be made into building products and other industrial uses. It was cheap, easy to mine and when added to various building products gave them extra strength and fire retardant properties. Just what was needed to help the post war building boom. However it was not until well into the sixties that it was discovered that the ingestion of its fibres caused terminal damage to peoples lungs. All those people working in the factories using asbestos in their products had already been damaged by the microscopic fibres of asbestos. This was borne out by the climbing death rates in the late 80’s as it can take anything from 5 to 25 years for the asbestos dieses to kill you. When the government brought in various bans on the importation and the using of asbestos in products they assumed by the turn of the new millennium there would be a fall in the number of deaths attributed to asbestos. Unfortunately the exact opposite happened and the death toll continued to rise. After some research the government found that because very few landlords or tenants of non-domestic buildings had bothered to have their building surveyed to find the whereabouts of any asbestos containing materials thousands of maintenance workers were coming into buildings and drilling holes or cutting out panels etc and disturbing the asbestos and on a regular basis breathing in small amounts of deadly fibres. So as time went on they became infected and joined the numbers of people dying who had worked in the asbestos factories of the 50’s and 60’s. Out of all this chaos was born the “Control of Asbestos in the Workplace” legislation. From May 2004 for the first time every owner or tenant, whoever was deemed responsible under the terms of leases, was legally obliged to have their premises surveyed and the position, quantity, condition and type of all ACM’s noted in a report form with a management plan to deal with the risk. These reports would then be available to any employee or outside contractor who may want to work in the areas containing asbestos and following laid out “Codes of Practice” take the necessary steps to minimise the release of harmful fibres into the atmosphere and subsequently into their lungs. Simple precautions like not using power tools, wearing an appropriate face-mask, wearing throw away overalls and other very basic things will help stop the ingestion of deadly asbestos fibres. Although this act will not immediately stop the death rate soaring to 10,000 deaths per year by 2020 eventually with the new knowledge and awareness of asbestos products contained in these reports we will see a decline in the death rate. The message about asbestos is not to rip it out of buildings unnecessarily but to know of its whereabouts and manage it. Only finally removing it under controlled conditions when it is damaged or disintegrating beyond reasonable repair. Christopher Angus helps promote the following websites: Printing Company
asbestos training
Oxford Double Glazing
Christopher Angus is a freelance writer and website promoter. He is available for hire. Please contact him at chris (at) brilliantseo (dot) com

Christopher Angus is a freelance writer and journalist. He is available for hire and website promotion. He writes articles on behalf of clients for £20.00 each – These articles are then submitted to quality article directories.

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(Added: Wed Oct 18 2006 Hits: 637 Downloads: 0 Rating: 0.00 Votes: 0)   Rate It   Review It


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