Asbestos removal for plumbers is becoming a very expensive problem. The trained plumber many years ago worked with and installed many items that were manufactured with asbestos.
The new information regarding the dangers of asbestos and asbestos related diseases has meant that plumbers need to be very aware of the problems in working around asbestos flues, asbestos lagging, asbestos gutters, asbestos bath panel and many types of asbestos wall panelling.
The current thinking is that plumbers should complete a new training course, currently being promoted within the health and safety executive and other private sector organisations to understand fully the process of asbestos removal for plumbers.
Generally the experienced plumber would need to decide whether the asbestos was sound or intact on visual inspection, and as a general rule if it is; the asbestos should be left untouched.
If this is not possible because the asbestos is preventing work to be done then a specialist contractor in asbestos removal would need to attend to remove the asbestos in a safe and harmless way.
The cost of the removal could be quite expensive so the plumber might need to factor in this prior to any work being undertaken.
For the new plumber coming into the trade it is essential to understand the dangers surrounding asbestos. Asbestosis is a term used when a person is affectively affected with particles from asbestos.
The sufferer would have come into contact with asbestos at one time or another. This does not necessarily mean that they would have to have worked with asbestos however.
New evidence suggests that this natural material is of such a dangerous nature that some women contracted the disease simply by washing the clothes of someone who may have come in contact with it.
Plumbers working with asbestos years ago would have used asbestos in a powder form and towelled the mix like plaster on to heating pipes for insulation and it was common to cut sheets of asbestos for things like bath panels and the like.
The problem with asbestos is that under a microscope the particles themselves are of a very straight and sharp nature. Once airborne these particles enter the lungs and stick into the lung lining and are not likely to be dislodged because of their sharp nature.
The particles stay dormant for many years, but move deeper into the flesh of the individual. The asbestos sits often for up to twenty years but often then turns into a cancer.
There are many descriptions of this disease but generally asbestosis is usually the word to describe it. Plumbers should take every precaution to protect themselves from these particles.
Often people take great risks and remove asbestos themselves to try to save money especially if a cost for professional removal has not been allowed for.
The key to this is to work safely as; often an infected person will not know anything is wrong for up to twenty years and some of the treatments are of no use whatsoever. The risk of survival of many plumbers who get infected when they have worked with asbestos is quite low.