Asbestos regulations

Asbestos regulations in South Africa

Asbestos regulations exist to protect the health of people as this mineral is a hazardous material. South Africa eventually banned asbestos in 2008 by prohibiting the importation and exportation of asbestos and similarly banning the use and manufacturing of this hazardous mineral. These asbestos regulations were established to combat asbestos pollution within the country and safeguard the population’s health and wellbeing.

Did you know that asbestos accounted for 3% of the value of the minerals in the country? South Africa was once the 5th largest supplier of chrysotile (white asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos) and amosite (brown asbestos).

between 1940 and 2000 contains some form of asbestos. The use of asbestos was hugely popular in the construction and building industry as the resistance in asbestos to chemicals, heat, water and electricity was unparalleled. As the severity of asbestos-related diseases became known, countries quickly responded by implementing asbestos regulations. South Africa followed suit and joined some 50 countries in doing so.

As asbestos exposure is related to diseases and fatalities, it is crucial to safely and effectively remove this material from the environment. Zendasat is one such contractor, we exist to assist the residential and commercial community with all aspects pertaining to asbestos removal. We provide asbestos removal, maintenance, management, inspection and regulation services to all industries and sectors in South Africa and beyond our borders.

The incidence of mesothelioma in South Africa

The mesothelium is a thin layer of tissue which covers the majority of the body’s internal organs. The type of cancer that occurs here is called mesothelioma. This deadly form of cancer is aggressive, and no cure is available. Mesothelioma typically affects the tissue surrounding the lungs and is referred to as pleural mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, the incidence of mesothelioma in South Africa is amongst the highest in the world. This is due to the country’s history of extensive asbestos mining and production for more than a century. It is reported that approximately 200 cases of mesothelioma are reported within our country annually, with almost 30% of these cases tied to environmental exposure.

The incidence of asbestosis in South Africa

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease which is caused by inhaling the fibres or particles of asbestos. This disease is characterised by scarring of the lungs which leads to long-term breathing complications. This scarring within your lung tissue interferes with the ability of oxygen to enter the bloodstream. This disease takes years to develop and become life-threatening.

    Where you can expect asbestos to be found

    • Roof sheeting and shingles
    • Windowsills, gutters, sidings and fascia boards
    • Water pipes
    • Boiler cladding
    • Insulation products in walls and roofs
    • Blankets or lagging for insulation purposes
    • Prefabricated walls
    • Textured paint and patching compounds

    We conduct our work in line with the Asbestos Regulations, 2001, as incorporated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993. If you require any services pertaining to the removal, management, inspection or regulation of asbestos, kindly contact us.