There was a ray of hope for many mesothelioma sufferers this year, when newspapers revealed that a revolutionary vaccine had provided positive results following a trial in the US. Indeed, 94 per cent of the 38 mesothelioma patients involved in the trial responded to the ground-breaking drug, which has been designed to use the body’s own immune system to battle the asbestos-related disease. Furthermore, 86 per cent of patients saw a significant shrinking in the size of their tumours, with 60 per cent of tumours reduced by more than 30 per cent. Comprised of a weakened, non-infectious version of the listeria bacteria, the drug comes in the form of an injection and has been granted permission to be fast-tracked on to the market.
While the preliminary results of this trial are exciting, when it comes to asbestos exposure, preventing illnesses such as asbestosis and mesothelioma remains a far more effective option than waiting for an easily accessible cure.
Although asbestos is no longer widely used in the UK, precautions are necessary due to the fact asbestos containing materials (ACMs) can be found in the ajority of buildings constructed before the year 2000. This alarming fact is the result of blue and brown asbestos not being banned from being supplied and used in the UK until 1985; white asbestos was banned 14 years later in 1999.
More concerning is the incredible flexibility of asbestos, which has led to it being found in many of the common materials used in the building trade. As such, asbestos could be hiding in a broad range of areas in and around a typical home; these include a cement water tank, pipe lagging, the toilet seat or cistern; vinyl floor tiles, gutters, roofing felt and a cement roof. Because you can’t see or smell asbestos fibres in the air and because the damaging effects of being exposed to asbestos take decades to appear, many people do not realise they have been exposed until it is too late to be cured. The damaging legacy of asbestos continues to this day, with approximately 5000 workers dying from asbestos exposure every year and around 20 tradesmen dying each week.
Should asbestos be suspected in the home, it is important not to touch it or damage the area; this is because asbestos becomes a risk when it is disturbed and asbestos fibres create a dust that could be inhaled. If the material is undamaged and shows no sign of wear and tear it can often be left alone, however, should someone think about working with or removing ACMs, it is important to consider options such whether a licensed asbestos removal firm such as ARG Group should be used to undertake survey and removal services. Should a survey be required, ARG can provide two types of survey for ACMs, a nonintrusive management survey and a full intrusive refurbishment/demolition survey. Should higher risk asbestos containing materials be found, we at ARG can conduct efficient, competent and cost effective asbestos removal services.
Should those in London and the South East of England require asbestos survey and removal services, contact ARG for high quality, cost efficient solutions.
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