The dark problem of Asbestos.

In our enlightened age we are rightly concerned about the effects of the substance of asbestos on our health and environment. If handled incorrectly the substance of asbestos can cause irreparable damage to the body. This results in asbestosis in the lungs, cancer of the lungs and mesothelioma, a cancer relating to the layer of tissue surrounding the body’s internal organs.  It has been a very lengthy legal process, hotly contested at all points by industry and Government official bodies, before it was realised that Asbestos was the cause. The removal of asbestos from buildings is highly specialised but it is also present in soil say after a buildings demolition or by previous ordered burial. Its removal may require a Soil Remediation Company and companies such as https://soilfix.co.uk/services/soil-groundwater-remediation can provide it. Where does Asbestos come from?

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Asbestos uses natural materials to create a solid substance. It is made up of fibrous strands and come from silicate materials. Asbestos is brilliant at being fireproof. It is this ability that primarily made it so popular within the construction industry. It is also excellent at acting as a sound proofing device meaning that the huge machines of manufacturing would not cause an issue to workers. It was seen as a wonder material as it also meant that clothing could be made from it creating a welcome barrier of safety that workers had never had before. This was not only in manufacturing but also increasingly in mining where its introduction was seen as a godsend.

There were historical examples, early evidence from remains in Finland of early humans showed that they had used the strands in there pots to protect them from fire and there were always the stories from ancient Persia of King Khosrow the second and his magical napkin that, when it was dirty, he would throw into the fire to be cleaned and it would come out unharmed. The traveller Marco Polo wrote of the fur of the Samander beast that could live in fire and was killed by water as being the reason for it but he was wrong and the actual reason of the silicate was a closely guarded secret.

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As the demand for Asbestos and its products grew in the industrial era mines of Chrysotile were being dug as quickly as possible. They were imported to the UK from Canada and Russia (where it is still mined today) and South Africa. The town of Clydebank and the City of Glasgow became the first port of entry and a large industry of asbestos production sprang up. Again, this was viewed positively as bringing much needed employment to Scotland. It is a legacy that we still have to deal with today.

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