ASBESTOS: Still Around, Still Deadly

Asbestos is a serious health hazard commonly found in our environment today. What is it? How are we exposed to it? How does it harm us?

Asbestos is the name for a group of naturally occurring mineral fibres. Asbestos includes chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite asbestos, anthophyllite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, and any of these materials that have been chemically treated and/or altered. Malaysia still allows the use of chrysotile (white asbestos), whilst prohibiting the other types of asbestos.

Asbestos fibres are exceptionally strong and commonly found in ceiling tiles, flooring, water pipes, and vehicle brakes. Asbestos was once heralded as the greatest building material but is today recognised as one of the biggest workplace killers. People who work with asbestos are at serious risk of developing lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and fatal respiratory illnesses.

If asbestos is disturbed, the fibres become airborne and are sucked into the lungs of people exposed to it. The more prolonged the exposure, the greater the risk becomes for developing an asbestos-related disease. This is why asbestos poisoning is often called an occupational hazard disease because the people who commonly work with the material are most at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease.

CAP reiterates our call to the Government to expedite an outright ban on asbestos and ensure that the necessary measures are taken to safeguard the health of all Malaysians.

WHY ASBESTOS STILL REMAINS A GLOBAL HAZARD. Asbestos is banned in around 70 countries in the world. But some continue to use the toxic fibres. With fatal consequences. But how dangerous is asbestos really? Where are people most in danger? And how could its use be stopped?

Watch this video.