Contact Asbestos Removal & Roofing today for the safest asbestos removal service in Cape Town. We are a registered asbestos removal, disposal and re-roofing company. We adhere to the strict guidelines as required by the Department of Labour as well as Occupational Health and Safety. Read more about this interesting and versatile but at the same time hazardous mineral that is still found in many residences and industrial buildings.
A Brief History of Asbestos
Believe it or not, asbestos has been in use for thousands of years. Asbestos containing pots and other cooking utensils dating back 4,500 years were found by archaeologists near the Lake Juojärviin Finland.
Between 61-112 AD), Roman scholar Gaius Caecilius Cilo wrote that slaves who mined and worked with asbestos became afflicted and often succumbed to a mysterious lung disease. It would be almost 2,000 years before it was determined exactly what caused the mysterious lung disease. Modern asbestos mining and production began in 1868 at mines in Italy, and 1878 large-scale production began in Quebec, Canada. In the early years of the 20th century, asbestos was also found in South Africa and what is now Zimbabwe. Asbestos mining in South Africa began in earnest in the 1930s. The asbestos mining industry in South Africa reached its peak in 1977 when it employed 20,000 miners. After 1977 export markets declined due to restrictive legislation in countries that imported asbestos.
In 1930 Dr. Edward Merewether, a British barrister and physician, who was an expert in industrial medicine and the laws linked to it, undertook a study of the effects of asbestos exposure on the lungs. His results showed that asbestos workers had a significant risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis. He found that one out of four asbestos workers was suffering from asbestosis. His findings resulted in the first promulgation of regulations to limit exposure to asbestos. Production slackened in the late 20th century owing to the health hazards posed by the mineral. Today, governments of most developed countries have placed restrictions on the use of asbestos. In many cases the use of asbestos is illegal and strict regulations have been placed on the once popular silky white fibre. It has become apparent that extensive exposure to asbestos can greatly increase the risk of lung disease or problems related to the respiratory system.
Chrysotile or white asbestos (which falls under the Serpentine category of Asbestos) is the type of asbestos that was mostly used in manufacturing, especially in the construction industry. It has long pliable curved fibres and can be woven together. Asbestos found in buildings come in two forms – friable and non-friable asbestos. Friable asbestos crumbles easily or can be reduced to powder by hand pressure. Friable asbestos (usually Chrysotile /white) is the most hazardous, posing significant dangers to human health. When microscopic asbestos fibres become airborne when disturbed, they could be inhaled or ingested and potentially cause life threatening diseases. The danger lies in the fact that the human body cannot expel asbestos fibres and disease resulting from asbestos exposure is not always immediately apparent. It could take many years, even decades for symptoms to develop.
White asbestos can be found in many residential or industrial buildings in South Africa, especially those that were built before 2000. It could be quite difficult to identify the presence of asbestos in a building and often requires the help and expertise of professional asbestos removal companies such as Asbestos Removal and Roofing.
(Learn more about Asbestos Encapsulation here).
Asbestos Removal company in Cape Town
In residential as well as industrial buildings asbestos is mostly found in roof sheets, gutters, downpipes, ceiling boards, pot plant containers and wall mounted heaters. It can also be found in concrete. Any disturbance, damage or deterioration to the condition of these material and items in your home is cause for concern and it is advisable to seek help from professionals.
If you suspect that your home or building in Cape Town have asbestos containing building materials, especially if they are damaged or are deteriorating, be sure to contact Asbestos Removal and Roofing today. Their trained professionals are fully equipped with all the necessary skills and knowledge to safely remove and dispose of asbestos. An advantage of using Asbestos Removal and Roofing is that re-roofing can take place simultaneously to the old asbestos roof being removed. This ensures that a property has minimum time without a roof. Their roofing and carpentry team works in conjunction with the asbestos removal team.