Building Technology
Has asbestos been banned as a building material in your country?
In Ghana it is common knowledge among architecture students that asbestos has been banned as a const. material due to its negative health effects. Primarily coz of its cancer-causing properties.

However i noticed something disturbing the other day. I live on a university campus (that doesnt have an arch. or const. tech. school by the way). I noticed that ALL the staff bungalows are roofed with asbestos sheets. Not one of these old roofs have been replaced since the material was banned. It makes me wonder, does asbestos really cause cancer? Has it been banned in ur country, and what is the response to its use in ur area. I think its a bit disturbing that an educated society like a uni still use. Are there other such materials people unknowingly use?
Augustine Owusu-Ansah
Has asbestos been banned as a building material in your country?
I guess its banned in India, but however it is still in use, not widely though. Asbestos is a carcinogenic agent. It means that it increases the proneness to being affected by cancer and not that it will for sure cause cancer. That's what i think.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
Has asbestos been banned as a building material in your country?
Augustine, The use of asbestos has been banned in Britain for some years, but of course there were many pre-fabricated buildings built using asbestos sheeting for both walls and roofs. Most of these have now been torn down and maybe replaced; but there are still quite a few asbestos sheet roofs, mainly on sheds, etc.

I would say that it is the inhaling of absestos fibres which cause problems because they are not "bio-degradable" and so simply stay in the lungs in a similar was to silicosis (coal dust, etc).

Some years ago I had the job of removing an old electric storage heater which used fibre-glass insulation and I found that my hands prickled badly (like itching powder), because tiny pieces of the glass-fibre had broken up.

Therefore, as a hazard warning to everyone, please remember that glass becomes brittle as it ages and glass-fibre which ages and breaks up is also not "bio-degradable" and I would hate for anyone to get old fibre-glass bits in their lungs, because the damage would be worse than asbestos fibres.
Frank John Snelling


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