Asbestos – take care: you may still be at risk!

By | November 7, 2008

It’s always a challenge to write about some topics, especially those which I have had no direct relationship with. But, I was researching mesothelioma for this article, when I was astounded how many famous people had actually been affected by this disease, including Steve McQueen who worked in the navy shipyards when he was young.

Mesothelioma is a disease of the lungs principally caused by inhaling particles of asbestos dust from the manufacture or mining of the mineral. If exposed long enough, workers contract some very nasty asbestos related lung disorders.

In the mid-20th century it was widely used in fire retardants, concrete, bricks, pipes and fireplace cement, heat, fire, and acid resistant gaskets, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, flooring, roofing, lawn furniture, and drywall joint compound, to mention the obvious uses.

However, even though asbestos is now banned in the UK, and in Europe, it can still be easily found in houses that were built or renovated before the bans were introduced, creating additional risks for those who thought they were safe. In other countries, asbestos can still be found easily and is not banned everywhere… yet.