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What can happen if you’re exposed to asbestos?

Once a popular and commonly used material in construction, asbestos is found in the fabric of many buildings, properties, and structures which were built before the 1990s – and while undamaged asbestos can remain in situ without causing direct problems, when broken down the material can have a debilitating and lasting effect on the health of those who use or live in the building.

This is because, when the asbestos material breaks down, particles are released into the air and can subsequently be breathed in by those in the surrounding area.

The health risks of asbestos exposure

When asbestos exposure starts to cause physical symptoms and illness, it is referred to as asbestosis.

Typically, the worst cases of asbestosis occur when an individual has been exposed to particles over a prolonged period, for example if they work in construction or renovation, or regularly work on building sites for example as electricians or heating and ventilation engineers.

Over time, breathing these particles of asbestos in leads to scarring of the lungs and irreversible damage. Exposure to asbestos has also been linked with the development of different cancers in the body, as well as chronic lung diseases which can be life threatening.

Symptoms of asbestos exposure

Some symptoms of asbestosis can appear relatively quickly, while others will lie dormant and unknown for up to 20 or even 30 years. It is for this reason that asbestos was allowed to be used so readily in construction and insulation for so long – simply because nobody understood the serious health implications that came from using the substance.

The most common symptoms of asbestosis and those to take heed of, include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A persistent, dry cough
  • Fatigue and pain or tightening in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Weight loss due to a loss of appetite

So, how can you prevent these symptoms and long term conditions from affecting you? The answer lies in our comprehensive asbestos surveys and removal services, which enable you to recognise the presence of asbestos in your home or property and determine the best course of action. In the case of asbestos which is found to be damaged or unstable, this almost always results in asbestos removal.

Asbestos removal services

Asbestos removal is the service used when the material is found to be unstable, at risk of releasing particles into the surrounding space and air. Using our experienced removal professionals, we isolate the area where asbestos is being removed from and take care to empty the surrounding space of any soft furnishings and fabrics which could become contaminated by asbestos fibres. Anything that cannot be removed is covered with a thick sheeting to keep it contained.

Wearing the correct health and safety equipment, our team will then conduct a safe and effective removal of the asbestos, minimising the use of any tools or machinery which may cause further damage to the substance. The asbestos is then safely and effectively disposed of.

For more information on our asbestos removal services or to book an asbestos survey and inspection to protect your peace of mind and to keep yourself and your family safe, get in touch with us today. You don’t need to be certain of the presence of asbestos to book a survey, with our team offering support and advice regardless of your situation.

Steven Hurst


I set up SE Asbestos Surveys more than 20 years ago, and we’ve come a long way since then! Today, we are your go-to local business for everything asbestos-related and more. The best part? Our in-house team handles it all, allowing us to offer you unbeatable prices.

Give me a buzz on the mobile to find out more. 


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