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Asbestos


Make no bones about it asbestos is bad; it is the single biggest occupational work-related killer in Britain today.  Asbestos related diseases are the cause of around 4000 deaths each year, and it's expected to continue to rise for years, before peaking in around 2020 at approximately 10,000 deaths per annum before eventually declining.

 

There is no medical cure for asbestos related diseases some of which are listed below;

 

Asbestosis or fibrosis - this causes scarring of the lung tissue which reduces the efficiency of the lungs and leads to difficult and painful breathing.  Strain on the heart can lead to death by heart failure

Asbestos induced cancer of the bronchus - cancer of the major air passages to the lungs, often occurs together with Asbestosis

Mesothelioma  - relatively rare form of cancer affecting the linings of the pleural or peritoneal cavities

Pleural disease - calcification of the lungs and pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)

 

Asbestos itself is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral with good heat / insulating properties, once considered a miracle material, it was widely used during the industrial years before its dark secret eventually saw it's use in almost all applications and trades banned in 1985.   Asbestos work in Britain is now largely restricted to its removal.

There were three main types of asbestos in general use;

 

chrysotile (white)

armosite (brown)

crocidolite (blue)

 

All three types can cause asbestos related diseases, however brown and blue are generally considered to be significantly more hazardous than white.


On Safe Lines QHSE Software Help file v1.067.0049 : Copyright © 2018 Brian G. Welch MSc, CMIOSH


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