Health risks

There are many reasons why exposure to asbestos might occur. Anyone can face this risk, particularly if they are in contact with or close to asbestos-containing materials that:

  • have been damaged
  • are involved in building or maintenance work
  • are being demolished or removed
  • are being weathered

Possible health effects of asbestos exposure

Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Even minimal exposure to asbestos fibres can be dangerous. Breathing in the fibres can lead to number of diseases, including pleural disease, asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

However, just because a person is exposed to asbestos it does not mean they will develop an asbestos-related disease (ARD).

It is still unknown why some people develop asbestos-related diseases and other people, who may have had regular exposure to asbestos, may not.

What to do if you think you have been exposed to asbestos

If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, you should contact your GP.

We also recommend that you register your details on the National Asbestos Exposure Register.