Despite its many known dangers and damaging health risks, and the fact that its use has been largely discontinued as a result, asbestos can still be found in buildings and structures across South Africa. It is something rarely seen in new structures for obvious reasons, but Gauteng is home to hundreds of older buildings that were erected during a time when asbestos saw wide usage.

In fact, an estimated 80% of structures in Gauteng still contain asbestos in them, but the number is gradually shrinking thanks to businesses that offer much needed asbestos removal services.

If you’re living or working in a particularly old building, there is a risk that your structure could be a part of that 80%, and here is why that could be a problem for you…


When freshly and properly installed, asbestos presents very little immediate risk to your health, but as it ages, as is the case in nearly every structure it is currently found in, the fibres that make up asbestos sheets will begin to split away.

These fibres are remarkably fine, and that’s where the danger comes in. Occupants in buildings are at risk of inhaling asbestos particles that are in the air, leading to numerous serious health risks, including the following:


Asbestosis occurs after long-term exposure to asbestos and is caused by breathing in its particles. It causes lung tissue to thicken and stiffen over a fairly short period of time as a result of scarring on the alveoli.


Asbestos is a major causer of lung-cancer, and in most cases can be highly serious and terminal. The average life expectancy for a patient with asbestos-related lung cancer is around 16 months, which can be improved with treatments.


Mesothelioma is another type of cancer caused by contact with asbestos that causes tumours on tissue that lines several internal organs, but in the case of asbestos, typically attacks the lungs. While treatment can improve a person’s condition, mesothelioma has no known cure, and can be terminal.


With these dangers in mind, it is easy to see why asbestos is no longer in wide-spread use, but like landmines its legacy can still be stumbled upon in buildings across the district. If you suspect your structure contains it, you are putting yourself at risk. Be sure to contact a representative from ENSA today to speak to us about our asbestos removal services or visit our website for details.