If you own a home built before the year 1990 there is a good chance you and your family might be in grave danger from an unseen enemy- asbestos! Asbestos is a kind of mineral fibre, a naturally occurring fibrous silicate. Asbestos has been used by humans since the Stone Age because of its insulative and highly fire-resistant properties. In modern times it was widely used in building construction, especially in insulation. By the 1970’s the hazards of asbestos were being realized as people who inhaled microscopic fibrils released into the atmosphere by abrasion began to develop severely dangerous lung conditions like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Because of these adverse health effects, asbestos is now considered a serious health and safety hazard and has been banned in most nations. In spite of this, around 100,000 people die each year from diseases stemming from asbestos exposure because many older buildings still contain asbestos! Asbestos is also a slow and sneaky killer, the deadly consequences of exposure can take decades to manifest.
Becoming aware of the danger, Australia began phasing out the use of asbestos beginning in the 1980s and placed a total ban on its use, sale, or import in 2003. Unfortunately, asbestos was used in over 3000 products including construction materials and vehicles before it became illegal. A large number of homes and buildings constructed before 1990 still contain asbestos. It’s impossible to tell if building materials or vehicle parts contain asbestos by only looking at them. If you have any questions about the presence of asbestos in your home or workplace it’s imperative that you request asbestos air monitoring from trusted professionals who know exactly what to look for and what to do about it! Nearly one-third of all Australian homes contain asbestos, so don’t take any chances on your safety and the safety of your family, get checked today!
Although the hazards of asbestos can lie dormant and undisturbed for years with the structure’s inhabitants remaining relatively safe, it can be made dangerous when exposed by things like home renovation projects that can release the deadly fibres. Regular home maintenance or simple tasks like drilling a hole in the wall to hang a picture can expose asbestos, and create a serious health risk. Some of the places asbestos is most commonly found inside and outside homes include:
- water pipes
-And that doesn’t cover every possibility!
If you discover what may be damaged asbestos in your home, it’s important to treat it like the threat it is. You should:
- put on personal protective equipment (PPE)
- vacate everyone from the area
- dampen the area to prevent further airborne particles from rising
- cover the area with a tarp or plastic sheet and seal it so dust can’t escape
- bring in a licensed asbestos assessor to confirm the presence of asbestos and contain it
Stay safe and get help!
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