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Roof Top, Still Using Asbestos?


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I've just moved higher on my hotel and looking around all the roof top are the classic old asbestos style forbidden in europe since 10/15 years. On news houses they paint them in brown....

I know that asbestos will kill first the people making it, and usually it takes 20/25 years but if it was banned maybe it's better to use other materials....

Of course tourists change frequently so byke accident will always kill more than breathing asbestos dust.

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Thankfully more and more builders are now using the non-asbestos variety of corrugated roof tiles. These are not as brittle and are easier to work with.

Unfortunately, the existing tons of asbestos tiles sitting on Samui and Pha-Ngan roofs will break up with time, and continue to do its deadly work for generations to come.

The exporters (Canada, Russia, others, banned there of course) of this hazardous material insist asbestos is safe if used "correctly".

The first "correct" use of the asbestos/cement roof tiles around here, is to drill them onsite in order to fit U-bolts and attach them to the roof structure. Not happy with creating this deadly dust, the tiles are also often cut and shaped further using an angle grinder, releasing kilos of this potent carcinogen cloud into the local atmosphere. Then after a few years of use and abuse, these tiles are then thrown around and left to break up into even more deadly asbestos dust. A favourite use of old asbestos tiles is to fill and cover pot holes on dirt roads with them, creating more hazardous dust each time the tiles are broken into smaller and smaller pieces by passing traffic - who said Thais don't like to recycle?

Asbestos dust lays around everywhere, and takes a long time to become safe - thank goodness for asbestos-eating mould.

The only effective way I've found to "educate" locals on the use of this dangerous material, is to refuse any dealings with them outright. "Say, that's a beautiful bungalow on your beach, but too bad it has asbestos tiles and panels - sorry, but cannot stay here..." It seems the pocket hurts more than one's health for Thai (and some expat) locals.

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Thankfully more and more builders are now using the non-asbestos variety of corrugated roof tiles. These are not as brittle and are easier to work with.

Unfortunately, the existing tons of asbestos tiles sitting on Samui and Pha-Ngan roofs will break up with time, and continue to do its deadly work for generations to come.

The exporters (Canada, Russia, others, banned there of course) of this hazardous material insist asbestos is safe if used "correctly".

The first "correct" use of the asbestos/cement roof tiles around here, is to drill them onsite in order to fit U-bolts and attach them to the roof structure. Not happy with creating this deadly dust, the tiles are also often cut and shaped further using an angle grinder, releasing kilos of this potent carcinogen cloud into the local atmosphere. Then after a few years of use and abuse, these tiles are then thrown around and left to break up into even more deadly asbestos dust. A favourite use of old asbestos tiles is to fill and cover pot holes on dirt roads with them, creating more hazardous dust each time the tiles are broken into smaller and smaller pieces by passing traffic - who said Thais don't like to recycle?

Asbestos dust lays around everywhere, and takes a long time to become safe - thank goodness for asbestos-eating mould.

The only effective way I've found to "educate" locals on the use of this dangerous material, is to refuse any dealings with them outright. "Say, that's a beautiful bungalow on your beach, but too bad it has asbestos tiles and panels - sorry, but cannot stay here..." It seems the pocket hurts more than one's health for Thai (and some expat) locals.

Gee, i forgot panels, worst than roof top. How can i recognize them?

With all the rain on the island i think asbestos is deadly more for construction worker....

in Italy people working with asbestos started dying after 15 years, lung cancer, like for cigarettes.

In europe it is so costly to have removed an old asbestos roof than lately people "stabilize" the material sprying a solid glue on it.

Edited by samui04
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Gee, i forgot panels, worst than roof top. How can i recognize them?

Asbestos/cement tiles and panels are fairly easy to recognize. They are thinner than normal (the asbestos fibers strengthens the cement), heavier, and quite brittle. You can clearly see fibers along the edges wherever a corrugated tile breaks - be careful when handling, as the microscopic needle-like fibers are quite sharp and very difficult to remove from flesh.

With all the rain on the island i think asbestos is deadly more for construction worker....

Rain is a good thing - it helps keep dust (and asbestos fibers) down, and makes it less likely for it to become airborne where it does its terrible harm.

More on Chrysotile asbestos in Thailand:

Asbestos in Thailand - Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

Asbestos can cause cancer but 'it's cheap' - Official sees 'no reason' for more expensive substitutes.

Thailand: highest per capita consumption of asbestos in the world - 1.9kg/person.

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Gee, i forgot panels, worst than roof top. How can i recognize them?

Asbestos/cement tiles and panels are fairly easy to recognize. They are thinner than normal (the asbestos fibers strengthens the cement), heavier, and quite brittle. You can clearly see fibers along the edges wherever a corrugated tile breaks - be careful when handling, as the microscopic needle-like fibers are quite sharp and very difficult to remove from flesh.

Asbestos in Thailand - Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

Asbestos can cause cancer but 'it's cheap' - Official sees 'no reason' for more expensive substitutes.

Thailand: highest per capita consumption of asbestos in the world - 1.9kg/person.

Yeah, it's cheap. And people will die in 15/20 years with little cost for the health system, the cancer is not treatable and kill fast.

I'm wondering what is life expectancy for thai or chinese people.

At least i would hope all thai people will not stay with CHILDREN under an asbestos roof.

Anyway for retired expat asbestos is too slow to make damages even in the future i'll add a check to the roof in choosing a place.

Big hotel building are usually safe.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Thankfully more and more builders are now using the non-asbestos variety of corrugated roof tiles. These are not as brittle and are easier to work with.

Unfortunately, the existing tons of asbestos tiles sitting on Samui and Pha-Ngan roofs will break up with time, and continue to do its deadly work for generations to come.

The exporters (Canada, Russia, others, banned there of course) of this hazardous material insist asbestos is safe if used "correctly".

The first "correct" use of the asbestos/cement roof tiles around here, is to drill them onsite in order to fit U-bolts and attach them to the roof structure. Not happy with creating this deadly dust, the tiles are also often cut and shaped further using an angle grinder, releasing kilos of this potent carcinogen cloud into the local atmosphere. Then after a few years of use and abuse, these tiles are then thrown around and left to break up into even more deadly asbestos dust. A favourite use of old asbestos tiles is to fill and cover pot holes on dirt roads with them, creating more hazardous dust each time the tiles are broken into smaller and smaller pieces by passing traffic - who said Thais don't like to recycle?

Asbestos dust lays around everywhere, and takes a long time to become safe - thank goodness for asbestos-eating mould.

The only effective way I've found to "educate" locals on the use of this dangerous material, is to refuse any dealings with them outright. "Say, that's a beautiful bungalow on your beach, but too bad it has asbestos tiles and panels - sorry, but cannot stay here..." It seems the pocket hurts more than one's health for Thai (and some expat) locals.

Lets not get too hysterical guys, I like Thailand because they don't buy into this American obsessive stuff. Long term heavy breathing of certain types of asbestos can create a grim health problem but most of us face much more danger from our wives than from asbestos.

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Lets not get too hysterical guys, I like Thailand because they don't buy into this American obsessive stuff. Long term heavy breathing of certain types of asbestos can create a grim health problem but most of us face much more danger from our wives than from asbestos.

All people working on making asbestos rooftop in my country have already died, usually 10/15 years.

The material is very particular, what worrys me is that is not like metal poisoning or radioactivity, where is the sum of exposition that kills.

Asbestos fiber in theory can kill you even if you are heavily exposed for 1 day in your live.....

And here kids are playing under rotten asbestos rooftop every day.

They will note make it to 30.... :o

Of course bikes may kill them before....

And even mineral water, everybody knows that a single bottle can destroy an airplane, thanks to some idiots in UK...

But i will not stay months on a bungalow with an old asbestos rooftop...

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