Asbestos is composed of six silicate minerals which contain long and thin fibrous crystals:
It is the fibres that, if disturbed, are released into the atmosphere and can prove a harmful health hazard. For more information visit: Wikipedia
How is it used?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and has been used for thousands of years, first used as far back as the stone age in cooking utensils. Its flexible and heat resistant properties made it a popular material for widespread usage in the construction and manufacturing industry.
A material most popular with manufacturers from 1900 to the 1970's. It was discovered that asbestos contained fire, heat, electrical and chemical resistant components, which made it a favoured insulation for steam engines, piping, boilers and car parts.
The building industry heavily used asbestos for cement since it provided good insulation and was generally lightweight. Most buildings built before the 1980's are thought to contain asbestos, and, if not disturbed, it can remain in the building structure without causing harm. Asbestos.com
Did you know...
Asbestos can be found not only in a lot of household appliances e.g. ovens, fire blankets, oven gloves, ironing covers but also in cars e.g brake pads and clutch linings.
Before it was known how harmful asbestos was, it was used in over 3000 products.
Asbestos can still be used safely in some products.
It is a legal requirement to dispose of asbestos waste safely and correctly. You can download a free copy of the HSE's Guide to Managing and Working with Asbestos (Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Approved Code of Practice and guidance) [click here= https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l143.pdf] and check for any updates to this documentation [click here= https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l143.htm] Asbestos waste describes asbestos products or materials that are ready for disposal, including building materials, dust, rubble, disposable PPE, rags used for cleaning and used tools that cannot be properly decontaminated.
Worldwide, an estimated 100,000 people are thought to die from asbestos related deaths every year.
Approx 50% of homes in the UK contain asbestos.
Asbestos was popular 4500 years ago and used to strengthen ceramic pots.
The use of asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1992, but countries such as Russia, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan still mine hundreds of thousands of tonnes.
Asbestos has been banned from use in more than 60 countries but not in the USA.
Unfortunately, the UK is amongst the countries where the highest number of deaths have been caused by asbestos cancer related illnesses.
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