Thursday, April 17, 2014

Asbestos Awareness at All-Time Low

Asbestos related illnesses continue to plague British workers and families, yet our awareness of asbestos is worryingly low.

It may be surprising to learn that the UK has some of the highest rates of mesothelioma, the killer asbestos related disease, in the world.This is because the UK government was slower to act than other countries that had already banned asbestos by the time it was finally banned in the United Kingdom. 

And despite asbestos being prohibited in the UK during the 1980s, it took until 1999 for all forms of asbestos to be banned here. 

Prior to the ban, industrial asbestos usage had been widespread. The substance was at first hailed as an effective material for insulation and fire-resistance and was used everywhere – from cement, as pipe insulation, in ceilings and wall cavities. 

This, combined with the relatively late ban on asbestos usage means that many of the country’s older building structures still contain asbestos. In fact, it’s likely that any building erected or renovated before 2000 could still contain asbestos. 

People at risk of exposure to deadly asbestos fibres are not just limited to those in the construction trade. It’s also a concern for engineers in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades, plasterers, roofing contractors, demolition crews, painters, pipe fitters and maintenance workers to name a few. But it could also be a risk to people who love nothing more than indulging in DIY around the house. 

The incidences of mesothelioma in Great Britain have increased almost five-fold since the late 1970s, although this rate has slowed down somewhat over the past decade. Today, fatalities due to asbestos related lung cancer currently stand at around 2,000 in Great Britain annually, and levels are expected to peak from 2015 to 2020. 

Given the hard-hitting reality of asbestos related illnesses that continue to blight the UK, asbestos awareness is essential. 

Being able to identify and deal safely with the deadly substance is high on the agenda for firms linked to the construction industry. But with so many others potentially being affected, asbestos awareness should also be of interest to other groups and individuals. 

Millions of homes across the UK were built during the days when asbestos usage was still having its heyday. So the fact that most of today’s homeowners are unconcerned and unaware about the risks associated with asbestos is deeply worrying. 

A survey by the British Lung Foundation found that asbestos awareness among the general population is at a dangerous low. Since the ban in the 1980s, when awareness was high, people have become somewhat complacent about asbestos. A whopping 67% of people asked said that they could not confidently identify asbestos around the house. 

In 2013, the Foundation launched a campaign to raise awareness of asbestos among tradespeople. However, raising awareness of the risks of asbestos among traders and the general public should be a multi-pronged approach and needs commitment from industry, government and the media. 

Safeguard your health with cost-effective asbestos services from Natas. 

Natas are a leading provider of asbestos training and certification. Take the asbestos awareness online test and find out how much you really know about asbestos. 

Choose from a comprehensive portfolio of asbestos services and award-winning training packages for companies and individuals, including asbestos awareness training and e-learning courses. 

Find out more about training with Natas, including Asbestos Awareness Training, BOHS P403, BOHS P402 Asbestos Survey Training and BOHS P405 Asbestos Management. 

Contact our specialist team and ask about our asbestos awareness course costs today.



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Work-At-Home Mom who quit years of corporate life to take care three kids full time. Fond of cooking, reading books and determined to master housekeeping. Created this blog to share about career, job, human resource, hobbies, sports and travel

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