Everything You Must Know About Asbestos

Everything You Must Know About Asbestos

New South Wales, with its capital Sydney, is the first state in Australia to mine asbestos. It is no wonder the state would have asbestos-containing homes and buildings.  Consequently, New South Wales has the largest incidents of death due to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer associated with the exposure and inhaling of asbestos fibres. A typical home or building, specially built before 2004, is most likely an asbestos carrier. If you know your home to be an asbestos carrier, it is wise to make plans for its removal. Since identification cannot be easily done, one can find experts for asbestos testing and removal in Sydney.

Asbestos comes in 3 types: white, blue and brown; although, white asbestos is widely used in Australia and many parts of the world.  Asbestos used to be a common raw material for constructions in the late 1800s for roofing, wall, flooring, sound and fireproofing. Homes were built using this material from the 1920s until the 1990s. The Australian government completely banned its mining in the early 80s and then enforced a complete ban on the importation, transport, storage, manufacture, use, and sale in 2003.

Asbestos can be extremely dangerous when they crumble between your fingers. This type of asbestos is called “friable”. They release fibres or dust into the air when squashed or crushed, and these fibres can get into the lungs and digestive tracts when inhaled or swallowed. Once these fibres get into your system, it will pose a major health risk since the body cannot break down asbestos fibres. They cannot be released from your system where they were trapped. Asbestos carrying homes, buildings or offices will remain harmless unless agitated. Any drilling or nailing job on walls or floorings or water damage will release these asbestos fibres, and that is when you run the risk of inhaling the toxic substance. In these cases do not subject yourself or even your workers to this risk and immediately ask for an asbestos audit of your facility.

You can see the use of asbestos in these parts of the home:

  • Roof, eaves, gutters
  • Ceiling and walls
  • Fence, garden sheds, garage
  • Plumbing
  • Fireplace
  • Floor underlay
  • Electrical

Did you know that a mining site in Australia has been removed from the map because of the severe destruction asbestos mining has wreaked on the place? This is Wittenoom. It is declared a contaminated site, and a warning signboard will greet you as you try to enter the township, stating that asbestos fibres and dust are present and airborne in and around Wittenoom, and a serious illness may result from inhaling them.

Car enthusiasts, hobbyists and automotive technicians who worked on old cars are most likely to be exposed to asbestos fibres, too, because asbestos was used in old cars due to the material’s high resistance to heat and corrosion.

If you are not aware of the composition of materials used in your homes or have doubts, do not attempt to treat or remove the problem yourself. It is very dangerous to do it yourself and is seriously discouraged. There is no safe level of exposure. And good construction is also no guarantee since it will deteriorate in time. So if you’re doubtful about your property, it is recommended to immediately get a professional audit from a licensed assessor.  You don’t have to panic as you can call in an expert for asbestos testing and removal in Sydney but do it as soon as possible.