3rd May, 2018
If you work in construction or any other industry where you may disturb or be exposed to asbestos containing materials, you need to have asbestos awareness training.
If you have had, or are about to refresh, your asbestos awareness, you should be able to answer these 10 asbestos awareness questions. If you have never done the course before, this information should give you a good head start.
Don't worry if you are not sure about the answers, we explain them below so you can be prepared for your asbestos awareness course.
This is the year that white (chrysotile) asbestos was banned, following the ban on blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos in 1985.
The Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 came into force on the 24th November 1999, and banned the importation and supply of all types of asbestos.
Also known as white, brown and blue asbestos, these three types of asbestos are the common types used in UK construction.
Mesothelioma is one of the biggest asbestos related diseases, killing around 2,500 people in the UK each year. But you could also choose asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaques or stomach and larynx cancer as your answer.
You are not in immediate danger from asbestos materials if they are in good condition and intact.
However, if asbestos containing materials are disturbed, through sanding, drilling, cutting etc or if they are in poor condition, the deadly asbestos fibres can be released.
The biggest risk from asbestos fibres is through inhalation.
The fibres are so small they can remain suspended in the air for days, and when breathed in, they can become lodged in the lining of the lungs.
There are two types of asbestos survey, a management asbestos survey, and a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey.
For building work, you need the refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey, which is a more intrusive survey to identify any asbestos materials that may be present in the areas you are working and disturbing as part of the project.
Smoking damages the tiny hairs in the throat and lungs and desensitises the lungs from smoke and particles. The immune system reduces the white blood cells sent to clean up the lungs.
Because of this, smokers are at a higher risk of asbestos related diseases, if they are exposed to asbestos fibres.
Because asbestos materials were used so heavily from the late 1800's to the ban in 1999, any building built before 2000 is likely to contain asbestos unless it has been fully removed previously.
Even building older than the late 1800's may have been refurbished during the period asbestos was in use or had asbestos products and materials used them.
You don't die from asbestos exposure immediately. Asbestos related diseases can develop over a number of years and often decades.
It's hard to tell if a material contains asbestos without a survey, so with no immediate warning signs, make sure you know what materials you are working on.
Currently its estimated that over 5000 people die each year from past asbestos exposure.
Around 2500 from mesothelioma, around the same from asbestos related lung cancer, and approximately 450 from asbestosis.