Asbestos is a natural fibrous material deemed to be highly toxic. This is the reason why it has been banned since several years. However, given its success in the past decades, especially in the field of construction, this material exists in various forms in our environment and can therefore constitute a risk for the health of and workers.
Asbestos dangerous to health
All forms of asbestos are classified as - carcinogenic substances for humans according to the European regulation 1272/2008, presently called CLP regulation (Classification, Labelling, Packaging).
Asbestos fibres are very fine and very fragile filaments. Once inhaled, they can get deposited in lungs and cause diseases . These can manifest up to 30 or 40 years after exposure to asbestos dust.
Asbestos used in several fields of activities.
Asbestos was in particular integrated in some construction materials and products as well as in some consumer goods. A material in good condition containing asbestos is not dangerous by itself. Danger arises from the spread of fine asbestos fibres in ambient space and their inhalation, for example in case of wear, during specific work on these materials and products (drilling, sanding, etc.) or even when they are being replaced or dismantled. Prudence is therefore mandatory while carrying out any work.Attention: asbestos removal and management of asbestos waste should both be executed in a strictly managed way.
Would you like to have more information about asbestos and how to recognise it? Check the advice given by your region:
• Brussels-Capital: website
• Wallonie: brochure "L’amiante dans et autour de la maison"
• Flanders: brochure "Asbest in en om het huis"