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What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is naturally formed over millions of years. It is produced as fibres, with various mechanical properties. The main strength of asbestos is that it is very heat resistant and that it does not conduct electricity.

Asbestos has been used for thousands of years, its usefulness being initially discovered by the Romans.In modern times it has been used in many situations, from World War 2 in defence material, to common day products like toasters and hair dryers. In fact virtually any product that is used involving heat or electricity, to some degree, uses asbestos. Not just being used in small or large appliances, it is also cultivated for use in residential and industrial properties.

The use of asbestos has in fact declined dramatically since the mid 1970s when the potential dangers of this versatile substance became public knowledge, the use of blue (Crocidolite), brown (Amosite) and white (Chrysotile) are now all banned in this country.

Is Asbestos always dangerous?

There is at present no law which demands the removal of an asbestos containing material (ACM), but the Health and Safety Executive in the UK, and in fact EEC directives, demand that where asbestos is present in a building or situation it must be maintained in a safe condition. Sealing the material (encapsulate) is always an option, but this can only be a short-term solution.

What harm can Asbestos do to me?

Asbestos fibres and dust can cause many problems. However, the only route of any known problem is through inhalation. Simply touching asbestos puts you at relatively little risk. The specific complaints that asbestos can cause are as follows:


A type of cancer known only to be caused by asbestos exposure. It can either attack the lungs and cells that line the rib cage. Or it can spread and attack the abdominal organs.


This is a non cancerous, critical lung disease. Caused by fibres or dust in the lung scarring the lung walls. Symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue and can result in cardiac failure, disability and even death.

Lung Cancer

This is the most common killer of asbestos workers. Particularly to those who choose to smoke. Medical treatment for such is limited but research is on-going.Asbestos can be very dangerous. If you would like any further information or advice regarding Asbestos please contact us. If you are worried about exposure to asbestos it is advised to consult your doctor immediately.