Where To Find Asbestos
Knowing What To Look Out For
Asbestos is a versatile mineral that has often been mixed with cement in the manufacture process. When it comes to recognising asbestos material, one doesn't need to look very far.
Used mostly in buildings, hazardous asbestos products included roof sheeting, gutters, insulation boards, pipes and many more products to mention but a few. Over the past century it is estimated that over 3,000 products containing asbestos were produced, many still found in our homes and work environment.
Dangers of Asbestos
Asbestos fibres, when inhaled into the lungs, are known to cause a range of lung diseases. Asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma are some of the more recognised direct results of exposure.
Symptoms of asbestos exposure can first appear in the form of chest pains and shortness of breath, often leading to respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and death.
It can take anything from 15 to 50 years from first contact with asbestos fibre for the disease to start showing symptoms. Recognising asbestos material early is thus crucial for health and safety. Once diagnosed, it is usually too late for effective treatment as there is no cure, and the disease is fatal.
A Global Problem
There are more than 100 000 asbestos related deaths per year and that, currently, 125 million workers are exposed to the deadly fibre - The World Health Organisation (WHO)
Asbestos is Hidden Within Other Materials
South Africa was a leading global supplier of all types of asbestos products. Asbestos has been used extensively in building materials, and the size of mining and processing that took place over the past decades is not reflected in the 200 mesothelioma cases reported on average each year.
Asbestos in buildings can be found in loose, friable form such as insulation materials. Usually, asbestos is hidden within other materials such as asbestos cement products.
Visual examination alone for recognising asbestos material is not possible. Testing by specialist asbestos removal experts is thus essential, with laboratory analysis often required.
The golden rule is always: when in doubt assume the material contains asbestos! - National Institute for Occupational Health
Asbestos contained in other materials like cement where fibres are not liberated pose minimal health risk. The danger however lies with any work that disturbs the fabric, releasing fibres, such as drilling, cutting, and high pressure cleaning. It is when these fibres are released and inhaled into the lungs that the infection occurs, causing a serious threat to health.
Leading Asbestos Removal Contractor
ARAC is a leading asbestos removal contractor, is highly skilled in the safe removal and disposal of sensitive environmental hazards. Using highly skilled and trained asbestos removal experts, we ensure the proper handling and disposal of asbestos in a safe and proper manner.
Based in Cape Town and Richards Bay affords us the opportunity of servicing the entire South African East Coast, from Cape Town in the Western Cape, Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and up to Durban and Richards Bay in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
ARAC applies strict measures to ensure the health and safety of our team, as well as the public when it comes to decontamination of a site. Following the guidelines as laid out by the Department of Health and Safety Act, ARAC will safely remove all asbestos contaminated products to scheduled decontamination sites.
As a registered asbestos removal contractor, safety is our number one focus when it comes to proper handling and disposal of contaminated materials.