What to do if you think you have asbestos

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Asbestos is a fibre-like substance utilised in building for flooring, roofing and insulation. It is known for its strength and heat resistance, which is why it became an ideal material for house buildings. It made great insulation because of its heat-resisting property. And because of its strength, it was added to concrete, asphalt, adhesives, joint compound and different vinyl substances.

After 1970 research revealed that the utilisation of asbestos could cause a serious risk to health and safety. By 1980, it was removed from most of the building material. And since 1999, its usage has been completely banned in the UK. If your house is built before 2000, then it is important to get an asbestos survey for your home. Asbestos experts like Ice Asbestos survey your house properly and perform the asbestos removal process to ensure your safety.

While asbestos can be hazardous, it is not harmful if left alone. It can pose health risks only if the material containing asbestos is damaged. Due to damage, it releases dust which contains asbestos fibre. When you breathe that dust, asbestos fibre enters your lungs and slowly harms them over time. But it requires long-term exposure to asbestos fibre to develop asbestosis.

People at risk of getting asbestosis

If you have worked in the construction industry from 1970 to 1990, there is a high chance you have been exposed to asbestos fibre. As of now, asbestos is no longer used in construction material, and the people who are at risk are the people who live in old asbestos remaining buildings and the people whose jobs put them at risk of damaging building material, such as demolition workers and electricians etc.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

Inhaling asbestos fibre for many years can cause serious lung conditions. Symptoms of this include:

  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in your chest or shoulder
  • Persistent cough
  • Swollen fingertips (in some advanced cases)

When to see your GP

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos fibre and develop asbestos-related symptoms, then it is important to inform your GP. However, it is not a reason to be worried. Most people do not develop serious lung diseases due to asbestos exposure. But it is always essential to take medical help if you develop serious symptoms like chest pain, coughing and shortness of breath.

If you develop the above symptoms, your GP will ask about your work history and check your lungs. If asbestosis is suspected, GP will refer you to lung specialists for further tests. Tests may include.

  • CT scan of lungs.
  • Lungs functions test to check how your lungs are performing.
  • Chest x-ray.

If you think you have asbestos in your property, it’s best to be checked by the experts

Once the asbestosis is developed, there is no cure for it because it is impossible to reverse the lung damage. That is why prevention is better than treatment to protect you and your family from this serious lung disease.

If you think your house or work building material contains asbestos, it is important to get an asbestos survey. Asbestos fibre is difficult to identify because it is not visible to the human eye. Hire professional help if you suspect asbestos presence in your building. When the asbestos is identified, the professionals at Ice Asbestos perform the asbestos removal process and dispose of the material safely.

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