The story of asbestos has gone down in history as one of the biggest mistakes made by modern society. For decades, this harmful substance was widely used in construction, due to its excellent insulating properties. This natural substance was used in many forms, such as composite sheets, which made excellent partitioning, and even came in blankets, which were used for fire prevention.
In the mid-1980s, it became apparent that asbestos was very harmful to humans, as the tiny slivers of asbestos, which cannot be seen be the naked eye, were released into the atmosphere. This alarming discovery eventually led to the cessation of its use, but by that time, many buildings contained asbestos in one form or another. Since that time, asbestos abatement is carried out by professional companies as its removal is not as straightforward as you might think.
A Large Industry
Asbestos surveying and removal is an industry in itself, and the chances of there being asbestos in a building are very high. If asbestos is in a solid state and is hidden from view and never disturbed, it will not be harmful, but any movement could release tiny slivers of asbestos into the atmosphere. If, for example, a team of workers were drilling holes for telecommunications cable, they could inadvertently drill through asbestos, and that is not only harmful to the workers, it could also contaminate the surrounding atmosphere, and any person in that area might inhale asbestos.
Such is the danger of asbestos, that the government has very strict laws in place that prohibit the use of asbestos and property owners are legally obliged to carry out asbestos surveys to check for the presence of this substance.
If you ever require asbestos survey or removal services, there are online companies that specialise in working with asbestos, and if you are planning to demolish or refurbish, this is an ideal time to have an asbestos survey carried out. Once the work begins, if there is asbestos present, it might be very harmful to anyone who enters the area.
Asbestos Sampling and Reporting
As a property owner, you are bound by law to carry out asbestos sampling, which is a once only process, unless of course the material is found in the building. If that is the case, an asbestos abatement company would need to safely remove the harmful material from the building. Old buildings are more likely to contain asbestos, and if you are an employer, it is your responsibility to have sampling tests carried out. Any work that is carried out on the building could result in asbestos release, and because it is not visible to the naked eye, you might never know that asbestos is present at all.
Slowly but surely, we are eliminating asbestos from many buildings, and this will continue until there are no traces of the substance in the environment. The dangers are very real, so try not to dislodge any material if you are unsure what it is made from. Call in the professionals who can carry out tests to determine the presence of asbestos, in any form.