There is also another indirect Asbestos removal cost, which is the one that dictates its removal; human health!

We all know it is bad for us but until I made my phone calls I didn’t actually understand how that works!

Seems the guys who originally fitted it, the laggers and so on, from the 1920’s onwards, did tend to suffer from asbestosis. They will all either have passed away by now or be centenarians with their telegram from the Queen.

Apparently there are no records of their fatality rates, but according to handed-down information some, not all, did die of asbestosis. We know that the miners were the really big victims!

What is really weird, though, is that a lot of the wives of the men fitting asbestos died of asbestosis before their men did! Thought to have been from shaking out the washing of their contaminated clothing! Apparently this caused desperate heartache, knowing their jobs had killed their wives! Would me!

Amongst today’s guys removing asbestos there doesn’t seem to be any health issues – yet!


Asbestos by daryl_mitchell is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Now it seems that it can take about 30 years after exposure before asbestosis kicks in. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, when asbestos removal first became an issue, the men wore the approved breathing masks. These were rated as being protection against 40,000 of whatever units they use to measure air contamination in. Seems that, today, these same masks are now only re-rated for 4 of those units!

We might have a serious health problem looming in the near future!

That leaves Joe Public. Asbestos removal is supposed to be for the health protection of house-holders, office and factory workers. The idea is that by removing it, none of us will be breathing in the fibres which could eventually kill us.

We have a multi-million pound industry removing asbestos (read part 1). We have just seen that we have, probably, a multi-billion pound hidden cost for its removal (read part 2) – the next crazy part is that I haven’t been able to turn up the record of a single Joe Public dying of asbestosis! This despite my own home town, a shipbuilding town, being known amongst the Pulmonary Consultants, as “The Asbestos Capital of the World!” That, apparently, is because most of the sheds were erected during the 1920’s the big era for asbestos, after WWI. I was very proud to find that all the asbestos removal people I spoke with had worked there and thought it was a great place!

So, after some research, it doesn’t look as if actual asbestos removal cost very much in the great scheme of things. What does cost a lot of money can be the indirect costs that removal forces on companies! In terms of human health, its removal doesn’t seem to have much impact, good or bad!

Something else came up from my phone calls to the asbestos removal specialists and this is something close to my heart because of my own health! They all seem to see the spores from black mould as being a bigger threat to the lung health of their workers than the asbestos!