Asbestos is a perfect example of a silent and hidden killer. The harmful fibre it releases is not only totally invisible to the eye, but also absolutely odourless, therefore can’t be smelt. As a result, you can walk into a room completely filled with asbestos and you still won’t suspect a thing. If you live in an old building ( built before the 1980’s) in the UK, it’s very possible that there’s some asbestos in the house.
Asbestos causes up to 5000 deaths in the UK on a yearly basis. When asbestos materials are disturbed, they release asbestos fibres, which when inhaled can result in lung cancer, asbestosis as well as mesothelioma which are all painful and fatal diseases. And perhaps even more importantly, you won’t notice any symptoms of having these diseases until after several years after your first exposure to asbestos fibres.
Therefore, to reduce these numbers, there’s a crucial need to to know how to identify asbestos so as not to put both ourselves and loved ones at risk.
There are three types of asbestos which includes blue or crocidolite, brown or amosite, and white or chrysotile. So they can easily be identified by their respective colour names, right? Wrong! Asbestos fibres can not be seen with the eye, it can only be detected under a microscope. They’re very tiny and light, and once disturbed and in the air, they can float can days. Asbestos are commonly found in several building materials such as cement products, floor tiles, paints, adhesive, partitions, cladding, insulation, doors and lots more. With its wide acceptability in the past, any building product you can probably think of could contain asbestos.