Asbestos causes the deaths of approximately 5,000 individuals annually in the United Kingdom. Knowing where and what kind of asbestos we’re dealing with is crucial if we’re going to keep its lethal fibers contained. But how do we identify it if we come into contact with it? What does it smell like? When do we put ourselves at risk?
The deadly substance known as asbestos is often overlooked. Its fibers are invisible because of their microscopic size. It’s not uncommon to find it concealed in common construction supplies. And because symptoms don’t appear for years, you can never be sure how long you’ve been exposed for. How, therefore, can one recognize asbestos? How can you identify a serial killer hiding in plain sight before it’s too late?
Asbestos fibers are emitted into the air if these materials are broken or scratched. Asbestos exposure can cause painful, debilitating, and ultimately lethal diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Knowing where and how to identify asbestos is crucial for preventing the release of potentially fatal asbestos fibers.
What does it like?
Blue asbestos, brown asbestos, and white asbestos are the three varieties. And their proper titles are:
Therefore, that seems to be a simple matter. Asbestos in blue must be blue, while asbestos in brown must be brown. These two, at least, should be easy to recognize.
But alas, it’s not quite that easy. Asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked eye but can be recognized under a microscope. They’re really small. Due of their minute size and light weight, asbestos fibers can float in the air for days.
Thousands of construction goods and supplies contain asbestos. Cement, paint, floor tiles, glue, aertex, insulation, doors, partitions, and cladding can all contain asbestos.
What does it smell like?
What about the smell? Asbestos may be invisible, but surely you can’t miss it. In order to warn people of their presence, many potentially toxic compounds emit a distinctive odor. If there is a gas leak, for instance, you won’t be able to see it but you’ll definitely be able to smell it.
Asbestos fails us once more. It lacks a smell, thus it cannot be identified in that way.
It is not possible to detect the presence of asbestos in a facility that has it in any form (walls, ceiling, flooring, or plumbing fixtures). Drilling through asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) may release the dangerous fibers into the air, yet the resulting dust will smell like any other dust.
If you don’t feel it, and you don’t smell it, you might not know you’re in an asbestos-containing building. The question is how to recognize asbestos in the environment. When is your health and future at danger, and how can you tell?
An asbestos survey is the only method for asbestos identification.
When a specialist in the field of asbestos conducts a survey, it is called an asbestos survey. The asbestos surveyor will ask questions about the structure, such as when it was constructed and when any renovations were made. As a result, they will have a far better idea of the kinds of materials that were employed in the building’s construction. The next step is to conduct a thorough asbestos survey of the building or structure.
In accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations, asbestos surveys must be conducted.