Removal of asbestos from a building usually requires remediation. In Sweden and in most other developed countries, there is an extensive set of regulations that regulate how cleanup should take place. It may be good to know that you should not vacuum up asbestos fibers in an ordinary household vacuum cleaner in the belief that you will then clean them away, but there is a great risk that they will go through the vacuum cleaner and instead spread around the home. A better way is to wipe repeatedly with a damp cloth. In professional asbestos removal, vacuum cleaners with special filters adapted to asbestos fibers are used.
Asbestos (from Greek asbestosis, “unextinguishable”) is a collective term for various fibrous crystallized silicates. It is a long fiber mineral and is most commonly found in North America, Russia (mainly in the Ural Mountains and in the Republic of Tuva) and South Africa. It is an inorganic mineral fiber. Asbestos is fireproof and has therefore had a variety of uses, from wicks in oil lamps to protective clothing. However, asbestos is harmful to health. The fibers penetrate the respiratory system and cause asbestosis. Researchers have also been able to demonstrate a cancer-causing effect.
Inhaled asbestos fibers are phagocytosed by the macrophages in the lungs. The problem is that the macrophages cannot completely break down the fibers. This allows them to remain activated and release cytokines and growth factors. These cause the tissues to grow. The form of the disease that develops depends on the size of the asbestos fibers: small fibers cause asbestosis (dust lung), medium-sized fibers cause malignant mesothelioma and long asbestos fibers cause lung cancer.
Asbestos cement is often referred to by the best-known product name, Eternit. Asbestos cement consists of asbestos that is crushed and then mixed with cement.
Asbestos cement has the advantage that it is very durable regardless of temperature and weather and has been used, among other things, as wall cladding for houses. The material is also fire resistant because it contains asbestos. Asbestos cement is also harmful to health if you work with the material, as asbestos fibers can penetrate the respiratory system and cause asbestosis. It has also been suspected to be carcinogenic. However, it is not dangerous if you do not damage it.
Eternit began to be manufactured in Sweden under license in 1907, but it was not until 1930 in connection with the Stockholm exhibition and functionalism that eternit got its breakthrough. After the Second World War, demand increased strongly.
Asbestos cement was manufactured on a large scale by Skandinaviska Eternit AB in the so-called Eternit factory in Lomma since 1906. During the 1970s there was a big scandal surrounding this factory, because the employees fell ill with cancer and some deaths also occurred. The scandal became even bigger when it became known that the managers of the factory had known that asbestos was dangerous but had kept this secret for several years before it became known to the public. The scandal is not completely resolved and there are still a number of unanswered questions. Eternit plates have been banned in Sweden since 1977. Eternite plates
[redigera]A common area of use, traces of which remain in the Swedish countryside even in the 21st century, are older houses that were covered with asbestos cement tiles in the 1940s and 1950s. These plates received many nicknames such as torpark biscuits and fattilappapp. More specifically, Eternit is often synonymous with the side plate, the small eternit plate in the format 400 x 200 mm that was manufactured since 1950 for the do-it-yourselfer. It was sold in a pack of ten plates that fit the pannier rack of a bicycle.
Sometimes, somewhat pejoratively, the term Norwegian brick is used for asbestos cement, especially when it is used as facade cladding. In Sweden, it was estimated in 1989 that more than 400,000 tons of asbestos were built into buildings. Among other things, the Torslanda airport tower, outside Gothenburg, which is Q-marked, which means “that the building may not be demolished and that the character of the facade may not be changed” because “the tower is a distinctive landmark”. The Eternite plate was born at the end of the 19th century in Austria. Ludvig Hatschek produced an artificial stone slab that could replace slate for roofing. He made a water mixture of 90 percent cement and 10 percent asbestos. The pulp was poured into a paper and cardboard machine and out came thin plates. The name of the product and the company name became Eternit after the Latin “aeternitas” which means eternity. 
In Sweden and Norway, eternit is synonymous with asbestos cement tiles, but in Denmark and the rest of Europe the new asbestos-free fiber cement boards are also called eternit, as it is a Dutch brand belonging to the Etex Group (until 1995 Eternit Group) since 1905.
Invarit (made in Köping)
Many building materials swell or shrink when they absorb or release moisture. Elevated moisture content in organic materials can enable the growth of mold, wooden materials develop rot or fungal attack. Increased humidity in building materials affects its properties. Wood, for example, has a reduced strength that decreases with its moisture content. Strong changes in moisture content can also lead to wood warping or twisting when it dries or when the humidity increases. Insulation gets a poorer insulating ability with an increasing moisture content in the material. Metals are affected by corrosion when the humidity is too high, and plastics sometimes lose certain desirable properties when the moisture content becomes too high, depending on the plastic material, up to several percent of water can be absorbed into the material.
Concrete and brick and other porous materials that absorb moisture can suffer from frost blasts when the temperature drops below -0 when the water saturation is too high, microbial growth such as mold and algae increases in growth.
￼Mold in buildings is dangerous to health, as shown in, for example, the Värmland study, a doctoral thesis by Linda Hägerhed Engman. The study is based on 400 Värmland families, among them 198 children with at least two different asthmatic or allergic symptoms and 202 healthy children participated. It showed a clear connection between bad air and ill health, among other things the presence of asthma and allergies correlated well with the presence of musty smell and the stronger the musty smell, the greater the ill health. Today, research does not have an answer to what is harmful about the mold, but it is likely that both spores and mycotoxins contribute to the ill health. Norwegian research has drawn attention to the presence of mold mycelium in the lungs of farmers who are more exposed to mold than most.
When handling grain, a certain influence of mold spores can be assumed. Grain or other animal feed that is insufficiently or improperly dried can mold and thus become unusable as food for humans and animals. The Agricultural Research Foundation is researching, among other things, mold attacks on grain storage.
Mold must not be tolerated indoors, in the foundation or in cold wind.
PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, are a group of environmentally and health-damaging industrial chemicals that were developed in the 1920s. They belong to the group of persistent organic pollutants. Chemically, PCB compounds consist of two aromatic rings that can have 1-10 chlorine atoms attached to them. Toxicity/toxicity depends on the placement of chlorines, not the number of chlorines. PCB compounds are fat-soluble, which means that they are enriched in the body’s fatty tissue. In the infancy of electricity, flammable oil was used as an insulator in capacitors and transformers. In 1929 PCB was launched as a fireproof alternative to oil. However, it was quickly noticed that people who handled PCBs developed chloracne blisters, usually on the face, which left deep scars. Large amounts of PCBs risk causing liver damage, which in the worst case can be a precursor to cancer.
Despite this, the use of PCBs continued for several decades. In Sweden, PCB bans were introduced in two rounds: In 1973, the use of PCBs in other than closed systems was banned, and in 1978, all new uses were banned completely. However, the substance is still present in the environment due to its long degradation time. Buildings that contain PCBs need to be cleaned up, and PCB-containing grouts and building materials must be left as hazardous waste. PCBs are today considered carcinogenic. Metabolites to PCBs are molecularly similar to the thyroid hormone thyroxine, which means that these metabolites bind to the transport proteins that normally transport thyroxine, leading to hypothyroidism.
Researchers have found through visual tests with infants (carrying high levels of PCBs) that their short-term memory is impaired. This is because the development of the child’s nerve cells is affected by PCBs during pregnancy. Researchers concluded that people who give birth to many children have lower levels of PCBs in their bodies, as the child takes over the levels. An adult exposed to high levels of PCBs can suffer physical damage (see above), while a child born to a person with high levels of PCBs, on the other hand, can suffer psychological damage. Thus, PCBs greatly affect the offspring.