Hidden Asbestos: Places You Never Knew It Lurked
Asbestos can kill, we all know this, knowing where it is and what it's in is crucial when it comes to avoiding it.
The link between asbestos and lung dysfunctions such as mesothelioma
and pleural plaques
is well established. There are still a lot of things that may contain the substance and places where you would never guess it could be hiding.
Who Can Be Exposed?
Asbestos is found naturally all around us in the environment, but in very small, harmless doses. Those who are exposed to unnatural, dangerous levels of asbestos (from certain materials), can inhale airborne fibres which are deposited in the lungs.
People often associate asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other lung conditions caused by asbestos with occupations such as shop fitters, plumbers, roofers and construction workers - but are these the only
areas of risk?
There are many
places you wouldn't expect to find asbestos. Here we'll highlight some, and point you in the right direction if your exposure to asbestos was the fault of somebody else
Asbestos In Places You Never Thought Of
- Pre- 1977 Artex – a kind of plaster used to apply a textured finish to walls and ceilings
- Cosmetic talc – used by the young and old, a recent study has found that cosmetic talc in a product called "Cashmere Bouquet" may have led to the death of a woman from mesothelioma
- Toilet seat and cistern – asbestos reinforced fibres can be found in your toilet cistern. Certain cisterns are more likely to contain these fibres than other
- Fire blankets – asbestos used to be weaved into fire blankets to make them flame retardant
- Car parts – some older and classic cars may still have car parts containing asbestos, care should be taken when undergoing any maintenance work, and asbestos parts should be replaced with asbestos-free parts
- Vinyl floor tiles – once a popular choice, carpet can often hide vinyl floor tiles under which there may be asbestos paper
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
have compiled a list of products that might contain asbestos
. It's not an exhaustive list but it gives a good indication of where it may be found.
If left undisturbed, asbestos is usually not a problem. If it is disturbed, it's important that you seek professional help to have it safely removed
. The effect of asbestos exposure is not known until many years later
. Preventing exposure now can save you and your family a lot of heartache in the future. Unfortunately for some, it's already too late and they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease. If you were exposed at work, it was the responsibility of your employer to protect you
whilst they employed you.