Asbestos is scary stuff. After all, it’s not only illegal to use, but it’s also dangerous to human health.
Knowing your stuff about asbestos – what it is, how to identify it, why it’s so dangerous – is therefore incredibly important. That said, a number of myths still remain about the stuff, so how can you spot the truth from the lies?
We’ve discussed some of these myths before in a previous blog, but there are several that still exist. Here, we go through three more myths, setting the record straight once and for all.
1. Not all types of asbestos are unsafe.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. There may be several different types of asbestos, but they are all as dangerous as each other. Don’t make the mistake of believing that some are better, or pose less of a risk.
Chrysotile may be by far the most common type of asbestos, but there is also amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite to worry about as well – each as dangerous as the next. If you disturb any type of asbestos, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.
2. Asbestos-related diseases are contagious.
When materials containing asbestos become disturbed or damaged, they release microscopic fibres into the air. People within the vicinity can then inhale the particles into their lungs, and eventually develop mesothelioma, asbestosis or another asbestos-related disease.
Fortunately, these diseases themselves are not contagious. The myth that they were contagious only surfaced when families of construction workers started to fall ill with affiliated conditions. However, the reason for this was most likely because the construction worker, or whoever had been working around asbestos, had brought asbestos microfibres into the family home via their clothing.
3. Asbestos only affects industrial and construction workers.
Talking of construction workers, there’s another belief that only those who work around asbestos are susceptible to it. This, again, isn’t true. The only reason industrial and construction workers are typically associated with asbestos is because they spend longer in proximity of the stuff, increasing their chance of being affected by it.
However, asbestos can affect anyone, anywhere. If you breathe in air containing its microscopic fibres, you could easily be affected – whether you’re a construction worker or not.
If you are concerned that you could have asbestos in your property or on your site, contact us today. We’d be happy to offer any advice we can.