Is asbestos harmful and why should it be removed?

Why asbestos is a harmful mineral and should be removed
Have you ever wondered why asbestos is regarded as a hazardous waste material? Or perhaps you are not sure what asbestos is and how it affects people?

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found all over the world. There are 6 types of asbestos that exist namely, Chrysotile (white asbestos); Crocidolite (blue asbestos); Amosite (brown asbestos); Anthophyllite; Tremolite and Actinolite. Only 3 of these types of asbestos is found in South Africa. Amosite, Chrysotile, and Crocidolite are found in our country and were predominantly mined in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the Northern Cape.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

Asbestos-containing materials may release fibres when they are disturbed or damaged in any way. These fibres are microscopic and are easily airborne which makes them easy to inhale through the nose and mouth of people in the vicinity. Asbestos has been proven to cause three potentially fatal diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These illnesses are treatable, but the outcome for affected persons is usually terminal. Around 200 mesothelioma cases are reported annually but authorities suspect that these numbers are in fact higher as South Africa was once a global supplier of asbestos.

Where is asbestos found?
  • Cement building materials including roofing
  • Pipe lagging
  • Insulating mattresses
  • Insulating rope
  • Insulation boards which are fire resistant
  • Fire-proofing products
  • Floor tiles
  • Sewerage and water pipes
  • Gas masks
  • Vehicle brake pads and clutches
  • Lifts
  • Machinery
  • Boilers

Due to the adverse health risks associated with asbestos, South Africa banned the use of this mineral in March 2008. As asbestos is a hazardous waste material, only accredited and approved contractors may remove and dispose of it. If your building was built before 2008, you can assume your building may contain asbestos in one form or another. Call us to do asbestos testing if you suspect your property may contain asbestos or asbestos-containing materials.

Zendasat is a South African accredited asbestos removal contractor. Get in touch with our team for an obligation free quotation today. Contact us for safe, reliable, and cost-effective asbestos removal.