It is important to be aware that asbestos is still prevalent throughout the UK and can pose a major health risk to anyone exposed. The material is proven to cause cancer and other serious diseases and, although most do not develop serious health issues, it is still important to be aware of where you might encounter asbestos and what you should do if you are exposed.
With this in mind, here are a few of the main industries where asbestos is still found.
Construction is the most common place to find asbestos which is no surprise as it was used so heavily in construction projects between the 1950s and 1970s. In particular, roofing and flooring along with demolition and home renovations can all lead to exposure.
Power Plant Worker
Heat-resistant products are one of the most common sources for asbestos exposure, such as pipe insulation and fireproofing spray. Cutting old asbestos pipes is a major threat and an important one to be aware of as a power plant worker.
Shipyard workers are another group that are often exposed to asbestos, especially boiler workers and anyone working on the construction or demolition of vessels.
Industrial workers are often exposed to asbestos in common materials such as textiles, gaskets, paper, insulation and fireproofing so it is important to be wary if you are an industrial worker.
There are many hazards as a firefighter, including asbestos as fire can damage asbestos products and cause them to become airborne which is when health issues can occur. Unfortunately, this was a big problem after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre when many firefighters were exposed to asbestos.
What if You Are Exposed?
So, what should you do if you are exposed to asbestos or have been in the past? It is important not to panic but you should always notify your doctor and seek medical advice if you develop symptoms such as coughing, chest pain or feeling short of breath. If you do fall ill as a result of asbestos exposure, you should look to claim compensation through a specialist asbestos solicitor. These cases can be complex as it can be decades before symptoms show, which is why you should always speak to a specialist lawyer.
Asbestos was used heavily as a material for decades and although it is now completely banner, it can still be found in certain industries and it is important to be aware of the threat that it poses.