Asbestos was a widely used mineral in most of the industries in India. Every year thousands of people die from asbestos-related diseases in India. Asbestos was commonly used worldwide, before its dangers to health were widely known. It is now illegal to use it in any new products in India since 21 January 2011, as per Hon. Supreme Court’s Order.
Asbestos can cause a number of serious diseases including different types of cancer, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, and other non-malignant lung diseases such as asbestosis, pleural plaques and pleural thickening.
Asbestos is the mineral and is the name given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. It is strong and highly heat resistant, which is why it was widely used in a range of products and in various industries. In last century, asbestos had been widely used in roofing sheets, asbestos cement sheets and pipes, clutch and brake linings, insulation, building materials, boilers, electrical fittings, gaskets, floor tiles, plastics, textiles and other products. But after realizing its hazardous effects on health, its usage is now banned in many countries including India.
Exposure to airborne asbestos particles
Exposure to airborne asbestos particles is the greatest risk factor to human health. When the asbestos fibres become loose and airborne, chances are high that people in the vicinity of asbestos may inhale asbestos particles. Over the time, these particles get accumulated in the lungs and can cause diseases. A person’s chance of developing asbestos-related disease depends on how much asbestos he was exposed to.
People who worked in the following industries are at the greatest health risk:
1. Mining and manufacture of asbestos
2. Ship building
3. Railway carriage construction
4. Office and industrial building construction
5. Power industries.
Those at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure
The workers who were involved in mining, milling and manufacture of asbestos and in the construction, power and ship building industries had been exposed to asbestos hazards before the asbestos was banned. Even the families of asbestos workers were exposed to asbestos fibres which were brought home through workers’ clothing.
Workers in the building trades such as plumbers, carpenters and electricians, were also prone to be exposed to asbestos. People who work in ship building and wherever asbestos-containing materials were present in such a way that fibres released into the air were particularly at risk.
Asbestos use is now banned in most parts of the world
Asbestos and all products containing asbestos have been banned in India. They cannot be imported, stored, supplied, sold, installed, used or re-used. If you want to check whether your business premise has presence of asbestos, it’s time to call EPSCO India Asbestos Abatement Service. We are an EPA/AHERA certified Asbestos Abatement company which gets rid of asbestos safely. Call us and keep your life and that of your employee’s secured from the hazardous effects of Asbestos.