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How Asbestos Enters The Body?

Posted on by Asbestos Waste Solutions Limited

Asbestos has been used widely in the construction industry since the early 1900s, meaning potentially millions of workers have been exposed to the dangerous material over time. Although the health effects of asbestos exposure were originally denied by the asbestos industry, the evidence gradually became undeniable as the life expectancy of asbestos workers plummeted and doctors became aware of the damage in their lungs after their passing. Studies conducted, that were funded by asbestos companies, were highly biased, often removing the word ‘cancer’ from all pages of the study before it was allowed to be published.

asbestos survey

It wasn’t until the late 1980s when the extent of damage asbestos can cause to human health became common knowledge. Finally, in 1999, asbestos was officially outlawed in the UK and it became the duty of property owners to remove any asbestos they discover in their buildings. 

To understand how asbestos causes damage to human health and how to protect construction and asbestos removal workers, we must first understand how asbestos enters the body.  


The most common route of entry asbestos has into the body is through inhalation – so much so that asbestos is often not a cause for concern until it is disturbed, and asbestos fibres are released into the air and inhaled. The fibres are then pulled deep into the lungs where they tear the lung tissue and cause scarring gradually, with many workers not showing any symptoms until decades after the exposure. 


Although an uncommon way of exposure, asbestos can be just as dangerous if it enters the body this way. Drinking water from naturally occurring springs can contain asbestos or eating seafood which has lived in asbestos-contaminated water can lead to the ingestion of asbestos which can cause serious damage to your digestive tract. However, this is extremely uncommon, as it is rare for water to have such a high concentration of asbestos in it to pose a serious health risk. 


Although not as common in modern times, back when asbestos was readily handled without protective gear, asbestos fibres would become lodged in the skin and cause a callus or corn (also known as asbestos warts). Skin exposure alone would not lead to more serious health effects, but generally working around asbestos, workers would inhale the fibres as well. 

No matter how asbestos enters the body, it will always pose a risk to your health – so if you’ve found asbestos within your property, hire a professional to remove and dispose of the hazardous material. 

Here at Asbestos Waste Solutions, we deliver first-rate asbestos disposal services for commercial and domestic customers throughout the UK. Our friendly staff are trained to the highest standards so they can offer relevant support, to rid of your asbestos promptly at a competitive price. For more information on any of our services, please get in touch with a team member today.

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