Asbestos is a very hazardous material to human health, but it was used for many years in construction and across a huge range of industries. Given the risks and dangers that it poses, many people wonder why asbestos ever become so popular. Here we look at some of the major uses of asbestos to establish why it was so widely used.
The advantages of asbestos
Asbestos is naturally-occurring mineral which has the ability to resist high temperatures extremely well. This means that it has a huge variety of uses for conserving and preserving heat. Additionally, the material offers excellent resistance to fire, corrosion, acid, electricity, noise, frost, dust and vermin. This meant that it was seen as a multi-faceted material with few drawbacks.
However, it is important to note that for many years, the full extent of the dangers of asbestos was not understood.
The unknown dangers
In the UK, some forms of asbestos were considered to be completely safe for use up until they were banned in 1999. This is due to the fact that asbestos-related illnesses take a long time to develop. In some cases, the period between the exposure to asbestos and onset of symptoms can be 40 years or more. This meant that it was difficult to prove the correlation between exposure and the illnesses. At this point asbestos was being widely used for many purposes and some industries were reluctant to stop using it.
While asbestos may have a multitude of uses, it is simply too dangerous. This means that if you do have asbestos in your property, it is important that you come up with a plan to ensure it is dealt with correctly. It is worth having an asbestos survey carried out whether you are concerned about asbestos at home or at work.