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The Risks of Asbestos: How to Work Safely Around Contaminated Areas


The Risks of Asbestos: How to Work Safely Around Contaminated Areas

Asbestos is commonly named a problem of the past, yet it can still be found in buildings that have been refurbished or constructed prior to the year 2000, presenting risks to those who work or reside there.

When materials containing asbestos are disturbed, fibres are released into the air which can cause serious diseases when inhaled.

These illnesses or diseases usually develop over longer periods of time, and if left too long, can be impossible to cure. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the dangers of asbestos and how to protect yourself from developing a serious illness.

Risks of exposure to asbestos

The main diseases linked to asbestos are lung-related, as those who come in contact with the mineral often inhale the fibres without knowing, causing health problems to develop slowly over time. These fibres irritate and scar the tissue in the lungs, causing stiffness that makes it difficult to breathe.

However, there is usually only a major risk when workers are required to disturb or damage remaining asbestos within buildings, as flaking or crumbling releases fibres which can be easily inhaled if precautions aren’t taken.

The main condition that can develop from asbestos inhalation is Asbestosis, which causes scarring to the lungs, shortness of breath and can be fatal. Usually, only long-term exposure to the substance causes fatal cases of Asbestosis, and in some cases, symptoms can take up to 30 years to appear.

However, those with Asbestosis have a higher chance of developing Mesothelioma, a Pleural disease, or lung cancer due to consistent damage to the chest and lungs.

Therefore, it’s important to take appropriate action in order to protect yourself from diseases linked to asbestos.

Working safely with asbestos

If you are working in a space that is contaminated with asbestos it’s important to alert your employer immediately to assess the situation.

It is advised to recruit specialists help to remove asbestos from the area however in some cases, it may be possible to work around the area with limited disturbances.

In this circumstance, it is important to wear protective equipment such as a face mask and goggles to avoid fibres getting into your eyes, nose, and mouth, and disposable gloves and overalls to protect your skin.

While working on the site, it’s essential that you clean up as you go to prevent waste build-up and protect waste with an extra bag to avoid waste escaping and spreading across the site.

Finally, before leaving the site or taking a break it’s important that you wash at least your hands and face or use washroom facilities to take a shower to remove any fibres or particles that may have clung to your skin or clothing.

Although there are measures you can take to protect yourself from asbestos, it’s important to contact a professional team or service to come and remove any traces of the mineral so you can continue to complete your initial project.

If you need a professional asbestos removal service, contact the Henderson Environmental team to ensure your area is safe at 0191 488 5195 or


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From the enquiry to the completion of the work, the service is outstanding. All members of staff who attended the site are professional, very polite, did their work and when I asked to do any extra work, it was not a problem, they just did it.

Lena Jopling, Hutchinson Environmental Solutions, Northumberland

"Friendly and Polite"

Hendersons stripped the asbestos ceiling panels from our garage and removed the panels from site. I was very happy with the professional and efficient way in which the work was carried out. The team were very friendly and polite and they left the garage and surrounding area clean and tidy. The work area was tested by an independent company and found to be clean and free of asbestos fibres.

John Knowles, County Durham

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All the work was completed on time and to our expectations The staff were very pleasant and checked regularly that we were happy with the progress.

Tony Turnbull, Tynemouth

"Professional Approach "

We were delighted by the professional approach and customer service that Henderson provided. From the onset, they demonstrated a highly structured and well-planned approach. This was also seen in how they approached the work on-site, as staff were professional, and friendly but also very concerned to do the right job. An excellent service at a reasonable price.

Peter Upton, Hexham

"Expert Knowledge"

I received excellent service from everyone at Henderson as all team members are friendly, helpful, and professional. I would recommend Henderson Environmental to anyone with an asbestos issue and on the strength of the great job that they did, if I ever need soundproofing I would go straight to them.

G Parker, Newcastle Upon Tyne

"Clean and Efficient Job"

Ian and his team provided us with an excellent service at a competitive price compared to others. The team were fantastic, arriving on time and working continuously to get the job done. Once completed they showed me the area they had cleared and it had been done to a very high standard, all materials were taken away and the area was thoroughly cleaned. I would highly recommend to all.

Sam Benfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne

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When I was first told I had asbestos I was concerned mostly about what it meant to remove it and how destructive the process would be. I needn’t have worried as the team were in and out really quickly, working professionally, and that took all of the stress out of the situation. Thanks for a fantastic job guys!

Adrian Young, Whitley Bay

"Limited Disturbance"

We owe a huge thanks to Ian and the team for making the asbestos removal go so easily and to plan. The impact to tenants has been as minimal as possible and the asbestos skip was removed immediately. The job couldn’t have gone better and we look forward to working with you again in the future.

Neil Joslin, The Gateshead Housing Company

"Efficient and On-Time"

I needed a job done quickly and the team came out to give me a quote the following day ad provided the estimate a day later. The work was completed within the estimated time frame and given that it involved removing a ceiling and taking the wall back to brick, we expected a mess but all of the waste was removed and not even a spec of dust was left behind. It’s rare these days to find a company that surpasses expectations and these guys do just that.

Christina Porter, Whickham, Newcastle Upon Tyne

"Safe and Collaborative Team"

The Henderson team were very easy to talk to and it was simple to schedule the removal to suit our calendar. The team on-site worked with our roofers to make sure the building was watertight by the end of the day. All in all Ian and the company were great to work with.

Hamilton Building and Joinery Services

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