Asbestos is a substance that has been used in many different applications for hundreds of years. In Ancient Rome, some wealthy patricians had gloves or handkerchiefs made out of asbestos. Due to its incredible insulation properties, they would put on their insulation gloves and stick their hands in fires. It was something of a party trick that delighted everyone. However, they didn’t know that they were also jeopardising their health. It has since been realised that asbestos is a carcinogen, or a cancer-causing agent. It doesn’t cause cancer in everyone who comes in contact with it, nor does it cause cancer in all its forms. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is inhaled. The substance can fragment easily into thin fibres; those thin fibres can be inhaled. That’s when they become most dangerous. Inhaled asbestos fibres can cause various lung diseases that can be incredibly damaging.
As early as the 1950s, many studies began to suggest that asbestos was actually harmful to human health. However, because of its incredible usefulness as an insulation material, it continued to be used in many different applications into the 1980s. Eventually, every major country outlawed asbestos and began to implement procedures to remove or abate asbestos. That led to a rise in asbestos-related jobs. Asbestos jobs are those that are focused on safely removing asbestos or rendering it harmless. There are two major ways that asbestos can be rendered safe. Asbestos analyst jobs exist to judge the relative danger of a certain asbestos application and advise the best way to move forward.
The most common way to solve asbestos problems is actually not to remove it, but removing it is the most reliable way to completely eliminate the danger. An asbestos analyst is one who inspects the presence of asbestos. If the asbestos needs to be removed, the removal experts will seal off the area that has the asbestos. They will then remove it as carefully as possible. They want to disturb the asbestos as little as possible, because it is most dangerous when it is disturbed and becomes airborne. They will then dispose of it safely. If they do not remove it, they want to abate it.
Instead of removing asbestos, an analyst might suggest that you just render it safe. This is not as complete a solution, but it does offer a chance to render it harmless. Typically, abatement means that you will paint over the asbestos containing structure or finish it with a sealant. This will keep the asbestos from becoming fragmented and becoming airborne. Since asbestos is only particularly dangerous when it is in fibre form, sealing it can prevent it from ever becoming fibrous.
Jobs analysing asbestos and deciding on the best application are very dangerous but necessary jobs. They are vital to ensuring the safety of millions of people, which is why they are such important jobs. They are paid as if they are important as well; if you can find a good asbestos job, you should hold onto it.