Asbestos is a banned material in more than 50 countries around the world but that does not mean it has stopped threatening human health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that there are approximately 125 million people across the globe who have been exposed to asbestos found in workplaces. There have also been thousands of reported fatalities each year.
These figures are scary so it is fine to be worried for your safety and wonder what may be lurking around at your office. If you wish to find out if there are any traces of asbestos in your workplace, the article below is a good guide to follow.
The Danger of Asbestos
Asbestos generally does not pose any threat unless it is disturbed. Its fibers are the component which is responsible for causing diseases related to asbestos. Some conditions include mesothelioma as well as lung cancer. Once the asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled into our lungs but no immediate damage will take place. Majority of those who inhale asbestos only develop diseases much later and to date, there is still no cure.
Does My Workplace Have Asbestos?
Many assume that their work environment is free from asbestos especially if their office building is relatively new. However, this is not always the case. Only buildings constructed from the year 2000 onwards are definitely free from asbestos as the ban against using asbestos for construction was only imposed in the year 1999. In majority of the cases, it is not possible to find out if asbestos is truly present unless a specific test is done.
Can I Find Out if My Workplace Has Asbestos?
By law, every building needs to have a maintenance team that is in-charge of regular maintenance and upkeep of the structure like a landlord. If there is a need to find out if there are any traces of asbestos, this particular team is responsible for necessary testing measures.
Where Can I Usually Find Asbestos?
Asbestos used to be popular in fire-proofing solutions as well as insulation which makes it prominent in materials like vinyl, tiling, roofing, and many others. However, the percentage of asbestos used in each product varies depending on its purpose.
Commercial Locations Where Asbestos Can Be Found
- Insulation pipes
- Boiler rooms
- Air ducts
- Insulation boards
- Partition boards
- Paper for electrical insulation
- Water tanks
- Rainwater pipes
Most often than not, there is no real need for any concern of asbestos exposure in a commercial building. Nevertheless, if you are worried about the responsibility of your building management team, you can get in touch with your local authority. Seek their advice regarding the proper next course of action to safeguard yourself from an early stage. Apart from that, asbestos does not have a direct impact on workers within a commercial building for most reported cases.