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How Was Asbestos Used?

Today, we know the impact of the use of Asbestos in construction, with millions of people having been adversely affected by breathing in the dangerous fibres over the past few decades. But this hasn’t always been the case. For a long time, Asbestos use was common practice in buildings across the country.

Asbestos was widely used in industry and construction from the 1900s, installed extensively as fire proofing and insulation throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. Due to its widespread use, it can still be found in many buildings to this day, although the new use of asbestos has been banned since the 1990s.

The use of Asbestos has led to tragedy and illness for a great many people. Those who worked regularly with the material have later developed Mesothelioma and other chronic lung complaints. When materials containing Asbestos are disturbed or damaged, it releases rough fibres into the air. When breathed in, these fibres can damage lungs.

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    Main uses of Asbestos

    Asbestos was used in a great many elements of construction, including:

    • Lagging around pipework and boilers
    • For fire insulation
    • As an insulating board or partitioning
    • Ceiling tiles
    • Roofs
    • Wall cladding
    • Rainwater goods like gutters and downpipes
    • Vehicle brake and clutch linings
    • As a building material in many schools and was also present in classrooms as fire blankets, Bunsen burner mats and gauze.
    • Gloves and blankets provided to welders and welding rods were coated with Asbestos.
    • Asbestos rope was used by plumbers, many of whom also cut boiler flues and backing plates from asbestos products
    • To wrap electrical cable
    • Many areas of the London Underground system.

    Asbestos was originally used because it was a versatile, strong, and cheap material that could be used in a wide range of applications. Unfortunately, we didn’t know then what we know now about its toxic properties that have left so many people ill and suffering because of coming into contact with it.


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