Many people wrongly believe that asbestos is a problem from the past. Unfortunately, we know that asbestos is still ruining the lives of many people.
In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s asbestos was widely used and was seen as a miracle substance. Many are shocked to know that asbestos was only banned in the UK as late as 1999.
Sources of exposure to asbestos are varied but typically asbestos can be found in the following products:
- asbestos insulation board
- loose asbestos in ceilings and floor cavities
- asbestos lagging often for pipes
- sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls, beams, and columns
- floor tiles, textiles and composite
- plater and textured coatings
- asbestos cement products
- roofing felt
- rope seals and gaskets
Everyone’s exposure varies but exposure can include:
- industrial setting
- building sites
- power stations
- public buildings
The main people we see who are diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos diseases are as follows:
- heating and ventilation engineers
- demolition workers
- carpenters and joiners
- roofing contractors
- painters and decorators
- construction workers
- fire and alarm installers
- shop fitters
- gas fitters
- computer and data installers
- general maintenance staff
- building surveyors
- professionals, e.g. doctors and medics working in hospitals
Sometimes asbestos-related diseases are diagnosed in people who cannot recall ever working with asbestos.
Many of those diagnosed who do not know where they came into contact with asbestos are shocked to realise that perhaps they were exposed to asbestos by a loved one bringing home asbestos dust on their clothes, which were released from factories, into the family home.
Other sources of exposure can be environmental and we see a number of sufferers who have been diagnosed with asbestos who worked or lived in an asbestos producing region e.g. Turner & Newall factory, Cape Asbestos and various cement producers.