If inhaled, asbestos fibres are small enough to penetrate deep into the air sacs within the lungs where they cannot be expelled by coughing or sneezing.
So, why is asbestos dangerous?
Due to the fibres’ chemical resistance and durability, the body’s natural defences (macrophages) cannot deal with them.
Over a period of between 15 and 60 years, long-term aggravation of the lung tissues may result.
Diseases associated with asbestos fibre inhalation include Pleural plaques, Asbestosis, Lung cancer and Mesothelioma.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has identified asbestos fibre exposure as the single greatest cause of occupationally related disease in the UK. Asbestos inhalation and related diseases account for around 4,500 deaths each year in the UK.
There is no cure for asbestos-related diseases. That is why asbestos removal, disposal and encapsulation is so important and is subject to tight regulation and compliance.
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