Asbestos Dangers in Britains Buildings

Those who work in UK law, local government or the construction industry have heard of the word "Asbestos" for many years. But up until as recently as twenty years ago, most of the population of the UK did not know about the dangers and the diseases caused by asbestos. This danger from asbestos is highlighted by the fact that almost every government from around the world has regulations and laws in place against the use of asbestos in building materials.
Asbestos is a Greek word which means "inextinguishable". Asbestos is also known as "magical mineral" due to the fact that it has such a natural composition that it is considered ideal for usage in anything from tiles to rooftops to road signs. It has even be used in making the socks we wear. Up until 1980 army, navy, railway, construction, in short every possible industry used asbestos. But once its harmful effects were discovered in 1980 the usage of asbestos based materials and products was banned worldwide.
Recent statistics show that almost every building built before 1980 is most likely to be made of asbestos related products. According to the TUC, all public buildings and schools built between 1960 and 1980 most probably have asbestos in walls, boilers, and even hot pipes. Properties built since the mid-1980's are unlikely to contain asbestos in the fabric of the building and properties built since 1990 are extremely unlikely to contain asbestos anywhere in the building.
Asbestos has previously been used in UK buildings for fireproofing, insulation, reinforcement and condensation protection. The Advisory Committee on Asbestos has released a report which states that the UK is most affected by the use of white asbestos by the name of Chrysotile. The Chrysotile imported by the UK in 1976 was utilized 40% by cement building products, 22% by reinforced and filler cements and 12% by floors and tiles.
Asbestos based items and products are no longer approved by the UK government or any other government in the world since research has highlighted its harmful effects on human health. These products are known to emit asbestos fibres which are the cause of many diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and other diseases. These fibres are so small that they are invisible to the human eye, with some fibres being up to seven hundred times smaller than a human hair. When these asbestos fibres are released from the building material or product and become airborne into the air we breathe, they often stay suspended there for hours or even days.
When asbestos fibres are originally inhaled, they may become trapped in the lungs. Over time, the body tries to dissolve theses fibres. Unfortunately due to the nature of asbestos, the body does little to damage the fibre, but instead damages the surrounding tissue. Eventually, this damage may become so severe that the lungs cannot function.
Although the use of asbestos has been banned for many years now, asbestos related deaths still occur for up to 40 years after exposure. The symptoms of asbestos related diseases, unfortunately, do not become apparent until it is too late.

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