1 Jul 2017
Asbestos is a natural mineral made up of many small fibres. For several decades, asbestos was widely used in building materials and various products, mainly for its good insulation and fire-resisting properties. However, asbestos has since been revealed to produce some very harmful – even life-threatening – effects.
Exposure to asbestos
The use of asbestos in construction and manufacturing is now prohibited by current regulations. Despite this, older asbestos-containing materials can still be found in numerous locations and products in Ireland. When the asbestos material is disturbed, its fibres can be released and become airborne.
Asbestos-related illnesses and medical conditions
Inhaling or ingesting dust containing asbestos fibres has been found to significantly increase the risk of contracting various illnesses. If inhaled, asbestos fibres can cause harm by damaging the inner lining of the lungs, leading to lung scarring and shortness of breath. This condition is referred to as asbestosis.
Even brief exposure to asbestos dust can drastically increase vulnerability to lung cancer. Furthermore, those suffering the effects of asbestosis also run the risk of developing a terminal condition called malignant mesothelioma, i.e. cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen.
Unfortunately, symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses usually don’t show up until several years after exposure. By the time any symptoms become apparent, there is a high chance that permanent damage to the lungs has already been done.
Asbestos Risk Assessment
We know the key to successful asbestos risk assessment and management is accurate information and At OHSS our reports provide full documentation of the location, type, quantity and condition of Asbestos Containing Materials as well as practical recommendations for compliance where applicable.