When asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are disturbed, they release highly hazardous material into the air.
Many people mistakenly believe that this occurs only when they are disturbed by heavy building work, but an asbestos management survey is often necessary to properly assess the prevalence of ACMs in a building during its normal occupation. Ignoring the dangers of prolonged asbestos exposure can be deadly, leaving you or your employees open to a number of fatal and disabling conditions.
Mesothelioma, or malignant mesothelioma, is an aggressive cancer that mostly occurs in the thin lining of the chest known as the pleura, but can also affect the area around the lungs and heart.
Usually incredibly difficult to treat, mesothelioma creates excess fluid between the chest and the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are often used as treatment options, but as the disease is often identified in its later stages, the outlook for mesothelioma is generally poor, and usually fatal.
One of the most common causes of cancer death, lung cancer can be caused when airborne ACM fibres are breathed in and become lodged in the lungs. Once trapped, these fibres cause inflammation that can lead to cancer.
Experts estimate that the risk of lung cancer increases by 4% with every year of exposure to ACMs. Like mesothelioma, asbestos related cancer is often only identified at advanced stages; generally unnoticed at the time of exposure, inflammation grows over the years to generate fatal tumour generation due to continued cell damage.
Created by prolonged exposure to ACMs, asbestosis is also caused by the inhalation of hazardous fibres. These fibres create lung damage and scarring, which results in shortness of breath and a pronounced cough. In 2009, 189 people died from asbestosis. Often manifesting itself decades after exposure, asbestosis is impossible to cure, although oxygen therapy can be used to provide a modicum of relief.
Our asbestos management survey provides thorough testing for ACMs in the environment of your premises in order to protect you or your employees from these debilitating and often fatal conditions. We’ll collect samples to be analysed in our lab to assess whether asbestos is present in the building.
Asbestos is a killer, so contact HICH to make sure all current and/or future occupants of your home or business premises are safe from the dangers.