NISG Asbestos. Caroline Kirton

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1 NISG Asbestos Caroline Kirton 1

2 The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Regulation 10 requires every employer to ensure that adequate information, instruction and training is given to their employees who are exposed to or who are liable to be exposed to asbestos, or who supervises such employees. 2

3 Who requires Asbestos Awareness Training? General Maintenance Staff Electricians Plumbers Gas Fitters Painters and Decorators Joiners Plasterers Demolition Workers Construction Workers Roofers Heating and Ventilation Engineers Telecommunication Engineers Fire and Burglar Alarm Installers Computer Installers Architects, Building Surveyors etc. Shop Fitters 3

4 What is Asbestos? It is estimated that asbestos causes over 4,000 deaths each year in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 1 in 100 males aged 50 will die of mesothelima. Predictions say that by 2020 this figure will rise to 10,000 deaths each year. Asbestos related diseases are the largest occupational killers in the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland Asbestos related diseases kill between 50 and 100 individuals each year. 4

5 Main Types of Asbestos Types of Asbestos commercially exploited were: Chrysotile (white asbestos) Amosite (brown asbestos) Crocidolite (blue asbestos) Chrysotile is the most commonly encountered type of Asbestos All types of asbestos are classified as Category 1 Carcinogens. Amphiboles are extremely dangerous. Serpentine is regarded as slightly less dangerous than amphiboles 5

6 Asbestos Related Diseases Asbestos poses risks to an individual s health for the following reasons: Asbestos is fibrous and the fibres can split longitudinally into smaller and gradually even smaller fibres The fibres are resistant to chemical decomposition and in particular the body s natural biological action if fibres are swallowed they can cause bowel cancer Chrysotile is an exception because it will dissolve in acid, but extremely slowly. However it can still cause asbestos related diseases. 6

7 Asbestosis Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal. It is a progressive disease Latent Period from first exposure is 15 years-60 years on average. Sufferers will experience severe dyspnea (shortness of breath) and as the disease progress it leads to respiratory failure. Asbestosis sufferers also have an increased risk of attracting other forms of lung cancer 7

8 Lung Cancer Asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as (looks the same as) lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes. It is estimated that there is around one lung cancer death for every mesotheliomadeath each year. It is a malignant tumour of the lung s air passages, Latent Period from first exposure is 20 years 30 years on average. Sufferers will experience shortness of breath and often cough up blood. Nearly always fatal 8

9 Asbestos and Smokers It is widely accepted that tobacco and asbestos interact with each other in the causation of lung cancer. It has been proved that if an asbestos related disease sufferer quits smoking it slows down the progression of the disease. 9

10 Asbestos and Smokers 10

11 Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal. Latent Period from first exposure is 30 years 40 years on average Similarly to Asbestosis, the early symptoms of this disease are shortness of breath. Other symptoms are severe weight loss and chest wall pains. 11

12 Pleural Plaques Pleural thickening is generally a problem that happens after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung (pleura) thickens and swells. If this gets worse, the lung itself can be squeezed, and can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest. This asbestos related disease is considered as less serious than the others. Pleural plaques by themselves are benign and cannot change into cancer 12

13 Families of Asbestos Workers Not all the victims of asbestos related diseases are workers. Hundreds of wives and children have been killed by take home exposure. This was caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and dust which was brought home on clothing and shoes and passed to the family through interaction. 13

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