The HSE Manager, Cummins Energy, Mr. Julius Akpong has urged the federal government to ban the use of Asbestos in Nigeria.
Akpong stated this in an interview which featured recently in a specialized publication in Nigeria.
According to him; “asbestos is a fibrous material, that comes in three different colors such as brown, blue and white with high ability to withstand heat.”
Julius revealed that such building material could lead to cancer of the lungs, and liver damage.
“Asbestos can cause jaundice, and it can cause inflammation of the liver. When that happens, there is no treatment that can really help it. This is a very tiny fibre. As soon as it is disturbed and it gets into your respiratory system, it takes a lot of time there and it does a lot of irreversible damage; so they are very, very dangerous”.
“People who do demolition works in old buildings where asbestos is used are exposed to asbestos because when they disturb the asbestos by way of breaking them down, invisible fibres are breathed into their organs. They begin to go down into the lungs and the lung is not able to fish them out like it would do with other wastes”.
“Our body has its defense mechanism of how to bring out wastes that’s why you would cough, sneeze or shiver sometimes – to be able to defend against certain environmental factors. But asbestos cannot be thrown out like that. It becomes a lot of ailments in the body. And that is usually the big issue”.
As a safety professional, he advised the federal government and stakeholders to ban the usage in Nigeria like other countries have done.
“Government should through its relevant agencies make policies that would first of all ban the use of asbestos and then ensure that they are removed”