February 18 2021

Asbestos is a material that has been used in the construction and automotive industry for decades. The name asbestos comes from the ancient Greek word meaning “inextinguishable, unquenchable or inconsumable’ and these traits have been revered going back as far as 400BC. These traits are what made the substance so popular in construction as it is non-flammable even at high temperatures while at the same time being incredibly durable and easy to work with. Asbestos is the general name for several different types of fibrous silicate minerals, with the most common forms being chrysolite, amosite, and crocidolite. 

When did asbestos come to the UK?

Asbestos wasn’t used extensively until the mid-1800s. The Industrial Revolution in the UK saw large-scale developments of railways, shipyards, and industry, all requiring cheap materials for insulation and heat protection. Over six million tonnes of asbestos were imported into the UK in the 20th century alone. As a result, many buildings used asbestos for insulation, around boilers, steam pipes, and roofing. 

It’s only been in the last few decades that the UK public has become aware of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos fibres and how they can lead to life-threatening diseases. Nowadays it’s imperative to ensure that your home, especially older buildings, are checked for damaged asbestos and treated accordingly.

What are the Properties of asbestos?

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that is both fibrous and crystalline. This unique structure allows it to be spun or woven into various forms and fitted to wall cavities, ceilings, and piping. Everything from cement materials to lagging, insulation, fire protection, sprayed-on insulation products, ties, coverings, piping, and even used in vehicle brakes, used to contain asbestos as it was cheaper, easier to work with, and robust. 

Asbestos was also renowned for its acoustic dampening properties as well as condensation protection, and concrete reinforcement. 

Dangerous asbestos

How dangerous is asbestos?

Products containing asbestos can become damaged or frayed through wear and tear. Asbestos fibres can break off and split into invisible fibres which hang in the air. These fibres are tiny and invisible to the naked eye, roughly 10x smaller than the width of a human hair.

These fibres can be breathed in, causing irreparable damage to your airways and organs and lead to dangerous conditions like Mesothelioma, lung cancer, Asbestosis, and Pleural thickening.

These conditions can develop in a short or long period of time with many cases only showing after decades. You also only need to be exposed to low levels of asbestos for fibres to be inhaled. This is why it’s imperative that you make sure all your buildings are safe from damaged asbestos.

As you can see asbestos is a serious concern and well worth checking for. Their pervasive use and their effects will be felt for years to come. At Midlands Asbestos Solutions we use our years of experience and expertise to find, test and remove all harmful asbestos deposits. We work with private and commercial clients and provide a complete service from searches and testing to safe removal. We’re committed to helping people protect themselves, their families, employees and customers from the threat of asbestos inhalation. 

We carry out every asbestos removal on time and budget. If you think you may have asbestos or even just want some peace of mind, contact us now for a free, no-obligation quotation. Our team of friendly experts is waiting to help you with any asbestos needs.

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