Between 1950 and 1980 asbestos was used extensively in the booming construction of post-war Britain. Asbestos was useful to builders because of its rigidity and fire resistance.
The naturally occurring substance has a brittle, crystalline structure which shatters easily, releasing fibres into the atmosphere.
If these fibres are breathed in high concentrations over a long period of time, they can cause serious illness and even death.
Health problems related to asbestos inhalation
- Lung cancer
- Asbestosis – a degenerative disease of the lungs that often appears 10-20 years after exposure
- Mesothelioma – a cancer that effects the protective lining of the internal organs
Asbestos is a serious health problem – particularly in workers who have been exposed to industrial activities and environments where asbestos particles are constantly at high levels.
In the home, asbestos can lie impotently dormant for as long as the building stays standing. However it is vital that you take the below precautions to avoid the risks associated with this material.
Homes built during this period are highly likely to contain asbestos sheeting in areas such as:
- Linings for walls, ceilings and doors boilers
- Garage and shed roofs
- Eaves, gutters and downpipes
- Bath panels
- Packing in walls and between floors
- Central heating flues
What to do if you suspect you have asbestos in your home
- Asbestos safe if it is left undisturbed and undamaged
- You should NEVER sand, saw, drill or break asbestos sheets
- You should wary about conducting any work around the above areas
- ALWAYS contact your local council for advice
- Hire a qualified tradesman to conduct work on these areas