It’s common knowledge that asbestos is now banned from use as a building material. However, it can still be present in buildings constructed before 2000 – otherwise, there would be very little need for services such as asbestos removal and asbestos surveying.
One recent news story that unfortunately serves as evidence of the continued problem of asbestos exposure took place in Runcorn, Cheshire.
A disused building known as East Lane House – formerly an office block – was paid a visit by a group of youths last week. Unbeknown to them, the building was contaminated with asbestos.
Emergency services were called to the scene just before 10 in the morning after the youths were spotted by a passerby. Five fire engines from the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were accompanied by paramedics with dust masks and a policeman on a bicycle conducting a perimeter search around the site.
Firefighters wearing protective equipment searched the building but found it to be empty. The youths were eventually brought down from the roof of the derelict building, before being ‘decontaminated’ along with their rescuers.
Oddly, a similar situation occurred the previous year, when two teenagers became lost inside the building. After being rescued by emergency services, they were told to visit their doctors as a precaution.
Unlikely to be widely recognised by such young people are the devastating diseases and ailments that can result from exposure to asbestos fibres.
The most common of these is mesothelioma, a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs and sometimes stomach, depending on whether the fibres are inhaled or ingested. Mesothelioma, unlike most other cancers, can take years – or often decades – to become detectable or begin showing symptoms in the victim. Unfortunately, this means that by the time the sufferer is diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything other than maximise their quality of life.
There are far too many examples of people tragically succumbing to this disease, one of the most recent being Norman Lea, a retired builder from Taunton in Somerset.
Mr. Lea died in April aged 79, just days after he made a written statement about the circumstances surrounding his diagnosis with the disease.
Norman worked for his father’s company more than 50 years ago, dealing with the installation of asbestos sheets for heaters. In his statement, he also said that he performed these installations with no protective gear or training – an all too common story among mesothelioma sufferers.
Today, we know much more about asbestos, the effects that it can have on the body and what can be done to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses that it continues to cause. Please contact Trident Asbestos Solutions to find out more about our wide array of asbestos services.