We are all innocent when we are children, and most children are wildly inquisitive. You’ll pick things up, hide anywhere, slide into materials, and play with a wide range of materials and substances without batting an eyelid. As children, we don’t know about the dangers of asbestos, but this could be a problem for our younger generations in a world where asbestos has been banned, but many buildings still contain it in some form.
Think about the vast majority of schools in the UK for instance. Most will have been built well before 1999, which is when asbestos was finally banned completely by the government, which means that there is still plenty of asbestos in school all over the country, just lying in wait.
What are the Dangers of Asbestos Exposure in Children?
It only takes one inhalation of asbestos fibres to cause long-term problems such as mesothelioma, with the symptoms not presenting for many decades later in some cases. Mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lung, causing it to stiffen and fail to expand properly. When you consider how children of a school-age are mostly still developing physically, you can see how this might be a problem.
Children have smaller lungs than adults and there is a higher surface area to volume ration when compared directly with adult lungs. Children are also likely to breathe at a much higher rate than adults. What this means in the case of being exposed to asbestos fibres, is that they are more likely to inhale asbestos fibres in the first place, but they will also inhale more because they are taking a higher volume of breaths than an adult.
Children are also much more likely to put their hands in their mouths, which becomes a problem if they have touched materials that may contain asbestos. To accidentally ingest asbestos fibres could lead to peritoneal mesothelioma.
What to Do Next to Prevent Exposure to Asbestos
If it is thought that there is asbestos present in a school, our team can enter the property and test asbestos-containing materials, or conduct a full and thorough asbestos survey, where huge sections of, or the entire, the school is shut down for the duration of the survey. We then have the choice to repair any materials, seal off areas, or conduct a safe and expedient asbestos removal service. That way, there is no danger of your children being exposed to asbestos and potentially suffering from mesothelioma in the future.
If you are worried that there might be asbestos present in a school that you are legally responsible for managing, it is important that you do something immediately. As you can see, exposure to asbestos is frightening for any person, but especially so if it happens to children during their physical and mental development stage. Remember, it is illegal to test, survey, or remove asbestos without the assistance of a professional, licensed asbestos contractor.
At Artisan Surveyors we have a wealth of experience in assisting our clients in testing materials that may contain asbestos, or surveying entire properties for asbestos. If you would like to arrange the same for your school, and prevent your children from becoming exposed to dangerous asbestos-containing materials, contact us today on 02380 982 598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.