What is asbestos

Asbestos is a collective name for a group of minerals common in nature. The minerals have different chemical compositions and properties. The dominating type of asbestos is Chrysotile, making up 99 % of all asbestos.

The range of applications for asbestos has been large due to its valuable technical properties, such as its high strength, flexibility, heat resistance and its good isolative properties of both sound and heat. According to the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) asbestos has been used in about 3.000 products.

Asbestos fibers are very light and when they are released into the air, it may take several days before they land. It is since 1982 prohibited to use asbestos in Sweden.

The company who perform a decontamination of asbestos must have undergone special training and permits are issued by the Work Environment Authority for each individual project.

The word asbestos comes from the Greek 'asbestosis', which means 'unquenchable' or 'inextinguishable'.

Asbestos is very hazardous to one's health, and can be a cause of several diseases. A simple act of scraping paint, soot or replace a floor mat can release asbestos fibers in harmful concentrations. There are different types of asbestos and they usually occur in clusters, something you can not see with the naked eye.

The fibers are very fine and when inhaled they can penetrate deep into the lungs, where they in the worst cases can develop pneumoconiosis (silicosis), tumors and lung cancer. It can take a long time, up to 30 years before developing symptoms of the disease after having been exposed to asbestos. It is estimated that in Sweden occur annually up to 200 deaths as a result of asbestos.



Catarina Wernlund
Phone: +46 (0)31-65 64 93

Sandra Johansson
Phone: +46 (0)31-65 64 88