Uralite without asbestos

May 20, 2024 | What is asbestos | 0 comments

In construction, the term “uralite” has traditionally been associated with the use of asbestos-containing fiber cement. Despite its omnipresence in real estate parks around the world, science has demonstrated the risk it poses to health. Once its useful life has ended, which is between 20 and 30 years, asbestos releases fibers whose inhalation can lead to pathologies such as lung cancer, asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis) or carcinomas in the larynx, among others.

Although it is true that asbestos-containing fiber cement has some benefits for buildings, such as its fireproof quality or flexibility, the fact that it poses a public health problem led to its ban in Spain in 2002. Now, the industry Look for safe alternatives such as asbestos-free fiber cement. Don’t you know him yet?

What is asbestos-free uralite?

The concept “asbestos-free uralite” refers to fiber cement that does not contain asbestos fibers. A construction material that has emerged as a safe and sustainable alternative to the old “uralite” plates that were used on building roofs. This material, composed of fiber cement combined with synthetic fibers, which replace traditional asbestos, which provide qualities similar to those of traditional fiber cement: resistant, waterproof, fireproof, acoustic and thermal insulation, among others. But, unlike its predecessor, it is a safe option for health and the environment.

What is the name of “asbestos-free uralite”?

Although it is true that the Uralita company made asbestos-containing fiber cement popular under this terminology, asbestos-free fiber cement or uralite does not have a specific name. However, there are some terms that can help users identify this material:

  • Asbestos-free fiber cement : this is the most generic and descriptive term, since it refers to the composition of the material (cement and synthetic fibers) and the absence of asbestos.
  • Asbestos-free fiber cement boards : this name focuses on the shape of the material, which comes in plates or sheets.
  • Asbestos-free fiber cement roofs : This term places emphasis on the main use of the material, which is the construction of roofs and roofs.

AI to detect “asbestos-containing uralite”

“Asbestos-containing wallite” poses a serious health risk and, therefore, constitutes a public health problem. Identifying asbestos-containing fiber cement and proceeding with its replacement is vital to guarantee the safety of any building. This material is omnipresent in construction. Although 95% of asbestos-containing fiber cement is found on roofs and coverings of buildings, such important elements as downspouts and pipes contain the remaining 5%.

How to identify fiber cement with asbestos?

Technology has given rise to new techniques such as remote sensing, which uses satellite images together with artificial intelligence (AI) to automate this process. Thanks to geospatial data, the identification of fiber cement does not require the exposure of workers to this substance, in addition to avoiding the social alarm that protective equipment raises in the population.

This technique, which sometimes allows an accuracy of 90%, is one of the best practices to know if your home is safe. Despite all this, there are traditional practices to recognize fiber cement with asbestos. For example, check the date of installation, the “NT” (new technology) inscription on the material, a new name that guarantees the absence of asbestos, or laboratory tests .

The dangers of uralite: legislation to avoid a public health problem

Asbestos-containing fiber cement presents a risk when it deteriorates, is handled or damaged without proper precautions. Considered a carcinogen by the World Health Organization, exposure to this material is associated with numerous serious pathologies. For these reasons, it is essential to handle any suspected presence of asbestos with caution and consider replacing it with safe alternatives such as the one we present in this article.

Through Directive (EU) 851/2018, transposed into Spanish legislation through law 07/2022, which refers to asbestos in its fourteenth provision, all municipalities in Spain must carry out a census and calendar for its removal. material. Its useful life, which ranges between 20 and 30 years, has led the authorities to take measures to eradicate asbestos-containing fiber cement from the real estate stock. The approach of asbestos present in buildings in Spain to the end of their useful life makes it necessary for City Councils and the public Administration to take measures to remove asbestos from publicly owned buildings in 2028, and in 2032 in those privately owned sites. following European recommendations.

At Agforest, we are committed to environmental safety, more specifically in the detection of asbestos . With our different solutions, we want to have a safer and more efficient environment. Visit our website for more information.



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