Looking after asbestos will help us all breathe more easily

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Many people have lives filled with work and family and 101 other activities that take up our days. So, today we’d like you to do something for us – just pause for a second and take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Did you manage to do it?

The average person takes in between 12 to 20 breaths every minute – that’s up to 28,880 breaths every day. It’s not surprising that breathing in and out is something that many of us don’t even notice we’re doing most of the time. It’s vital to our existence and yet at the same time so commonplace that it only rarely gains our attention.

It only starts to register with us when we’re pushing ourselves hard – maybe at work or when we’re exercising. Sadly, though for many thousands of people in the UK the simple act of breathing in and out is one of the hardest things they have to do every single day.

According to the British Lung Foundation about 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with a lung disease every week. Lung diseases are responsible for more than 700,000 hospital admissions and over six million inpatient bed-days in the UK each year. Tragically, somebody dies from lung disease in the UK every five minutes.

Last month, the need to look after our lungs was highlighted during World Lung Cancer Day. The national awareness day revealed that lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide – claiming more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. It’s estimated that lung cancer accounts for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally.

The focus is likely to remain on lung health over the next few weeks in the run-up to World Lung Day which will take place on Saturday, September 25. This is a day devoted to lung health advocacy and action and is an opportunity for everyone to unite and promote better lung health across the world.

You may be asking yourself why a team which specialises in asbestos management, removal and training is so keen to raise awareness about these events?

Promoting lung health is important to us at Acorn because asbestos can cause so many devastating lung conditions.

There are four main lung conditions associated with breathing in asbestos fibres. There’s non-malignant pleural disease and non-malignant pleural effusions which is a collection of fluid around the lungs and asbestosis which is a non-malignant scarring of the lungs. The deadly substance can also cause asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs and is usually linked to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma mainly affects the lining of the lungs although it can also affect the lining of the tummy, heart or testicles.

More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK and unfortunately, it’s rarely possible to cure mesothelioma, although treatment can help control the symptoms.

We have seen how devastating the impact of conditions like mesothelioma can be which is why we are proud to support charities like ActionMeso and Mesothelioma UK as they work hard to raise awareness about the condition and the dangers of asbestos.

Despite the fact the use of asbestos has been banned in this country for two decades more than 5,000 people in the UK die every year from asbestos-related diseases. A proportion of these deaths are related to historic cases of exposure to asbestos but, unfortunately we are still seeing people exposed to asbestos today.

Even though the use of asbestos has been banned here for decades, it was used extensively prior to that and as a result any building built before 1999 may contain asbestos. Houses, domestic garages, factories, office blocks, hospitals and other public buildings can all potentially have a hidden legacy of asbestos lurking within their structures.

So, if you own or manage a building built before 1999 we would urge you to get in touch with an organisation like ours to help you identify whether it contains asbestos. If it does there is no need to panic – with help from organisations like Acorn it is possible to safely manage asbestos so it doesn’t pose a threat to anyone working or living in the building. The worst thing to do with asbestos is to bury your head in the sand – that’s when you run the risk of putting people’s lives in danger and yourself or your business at risk of prosecution.

If you’re still nervous about taking that first step on the road to complying with asbestos law, we can offer you a free Asbestos Review Surgery to help you discuss and diagnose your current asbestos compliance status.

The reason we offer this service for free is because we want to make sure that as many people as possible are protected from this awful, hidden killer. If we all take responsibility for managing our properties and managing our asbestos legacy we can save countless more families from the heartache of losing loved ones due to asbestos-related diseases.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos removal management. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us   

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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