For years, asbestos was used as an insulation material in homes around the world; however the substance has now been banned by a large number of governments. It is now known that asbestos fibers can build up in the lungs over time, and cause a range of fatal and potentially fatal illnesses. Although the health implications of asbestos use were suspected for years, the reaction to these implications were slow, because asbestos seemed to be an ideal substance in many other respects; it was cheap, easy to mine and it served its main function well. Because of this, many of those who regularly worked with asbestos as part of their job have been able to claim compensation for their subsequent health problems. As well as creating an immediate health risk for those involved, asbestos can cause ongoing environmental harm as well.
Why hasn‘t All Asbestos been Removed?
Once asbestos is in place, it does not always need to be removed. As long as the asbestos remains intact, it is safe. Asbestos was used in construction for a reason, and as long as it continues to serve its intended purpose, it may be safer to leave it where it is, rather than removing it and risking damaging it. For a brief period, asbestos removal by professionals was not widespread, and many people were exposed who should not have been exposed. If asbestos removal is to occur, it needs to be done by a professional. Many amateur asbestos removers did not take adequate precautions when disposing of the asbestos, and this carelessness ended up putting people in the wider community at risk.
Environmental Risks from Asbestos
If asbestos is not disposed of correctly, asbestos dust can easily be dispersed into the air. If broken asbestos is left at a standard city waste facility, asbestos dust particles can be picked up by the wind and can be dispersed for miles around. Although 1 or 2 small pieces of asbestos are unlikely to cause concern for the entire city, if this were to happen with asbestos dust from every home in the city, it is likely that a widespread health disaster would occur. Once it has entered the lungs, asbestos dust normally stays there, and can build up over time, meaning that people can become more and more at risk over time. Therefore it is important for asbestos removal experts to follow the correct local precautions.
Incorrect asbestos removal and disposal can also lead to asbestos dust entering the water supply or the food chain. When dust particles land on the soil, they are likely to affect the plants which are growing there, and they are likely to be inadvertently consumed by animals that are living in that area. Whilst asbestos is not thought to be as harmful once it is in the water supply or the food chain, it is still not ideal to be consuming large quantities of any chemical substance. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that asbestos removal is done by a trained professional who understands disposal requirements.