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Are you being exposed to asbestos in your garage or shed?

Asbestos has seen widespread use during the last century. It was mainly used in the building trade as it serves and a extremely proficient insulator and has a high resistance to heat. It was incorporated into almost every aspect of the building industry which included its use as a roofing tile or an insulation board and even boiler/ pipe coverings. However the use and import of asbestos has seen an outright ban in the United Kingdom owed to the underlying dangers that are present when exposed to it. Due to this ban, employers have to protect their staff from exposure or they would be subject to asbestos compensation claims against them.

Inhaling asbestos fibres which are generally smaller than half a millimetre in length can lead to long term health problems such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. These conditions are considered to be severe and can even be fatal. Asbestos was left 'under the radar' for so long as most of the health conditions a have a lengthy latency period almost always exceeding 15 years. The number of people being diagnosed with a condition directly related to exposure from asbestos has substantially increased in the last few decades. This is because workers were exposed years ago at work and symptoms are only showing now plus improved diagnosis establishing the cause of the illness.

Any building that was constructed after the year 2000 will be free from asbestos. However the majority of the buildings within the United Kingdom have been built within the last century and as such will more than likely contain asbestos in one form or another. Asbestos is relatively safe if undamaged and due to residential houses being lived in they are often kept in pristine condition. However outbuildings such as garages and sheds are often neglected and therefore become run-down and are at the mercy of the elements. Because of this areas of the garage or shed may become damaged or damp, and herein lies the danger.

As I mentioned earlier asbestos can be found a number of materials used in the building process such ass roof shingles and AIB's (asbestos insulation boards) if these become damaged the fibres may become airborne and inhalation can often lead to chronic illnesses. If you suspect that your garage or shed may contain asbestos and that it may be damaged it is advisable that you seek advise from the relevant professional who is qualified to work with and if necessary safely remove/ dispose of the material. Attempting to 'DIY' is highly dangerous not only for yourself but for others around you once the fibres become airborne. Working on materials that contain asbestos insulating boards or lagging must be undertaken by a licensed contractor, however working on cement materials containing asbestos is not illegal as long as the correct precautions have been taken.

If you are the proprietor of a garage or a brick shed it could be worthwhile to investigate to see if there are any potentially dangerous substances hidden inside. The dangers that lie with exposure to asbestos are still present even if the substance has been phased out of use.

Author Bio; Adam Howard – Atrium Legal
Atrium Legal are Industrial Disease specialists, helping workers who suffer from injury or illness due to their job. This includes workers who have been exposed to asbestos. The damage done to their health can be fatal and we assist them to claim asbestosis compensation.





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