Today it is well known that asbestos is an extremely dangerous material that can be responsible for a large number of very serious medical conditions. When people are exposed to asbestos fibres – especially over a long period of time – they can breathe the fibres into their lungs. The fibres stay in the lungs indefinitely, causing damage over a long period of time.

We know now that asbestos fibres are almost uniquely responsible for a debilitating condition called asbestosis which results in the scarring of the lungs by asbestos fibres. This condition is debilitating and unpleasant, but it can actually lead to life threating conditions such as lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs).

Worse still, symptoms of asbestosis and other asbestos-related illnesses do not usually present until around 20 years after exposure to asbestos. This means that by the time someone is aware that there is a problem, it’s too late to do anything about it.

When was it used?

Thankfully asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK – various types of asbestos had already been banned as they were considered more dangerous. However, studies confirmed that all types of asbestos had the potential to cause asbestos-related health conditions.

First gaining popularity during the industrial revolution, asbestos was increasingly used throughout the course of the 20th century. It was most popular between the 1950s and 1970s where it was used extensively not only in the base level construction of buildings, but also in fitting out properties. One of the most well-known places to find asbestos is in Artex – a ceiling coating that was very popular in the 1970s.

Why was it used?

Asbestos was used because it actually has a very large number of useful properties. It is useful in terms of insulation, not only keeping in heat but also sound. It is resistant to water, chemicals and fire and it was strong and cheap. This made it an ideal material. It was commonly ground up and added to other materials – such as in cement.

If you are concerned about asbestos in your property, get in contact with the team at Crucial Environmental today.