Are you renovating or demolishing a house that was built before the 1990s? Beware of asbestos. If you damage an asbestos-containing material (eg breaking, drilling or sawing), asbestos fibers can be released. Inhalation of those fibers can be detrimental for your health.
Until the 90’s, asbestos was widely used in building materials. Often it is incorporated into corrugated boards (on sheds or under construction), drainage pipes, insulation boards and chimneys. But it’s also in ceiling tiles, windowsills and floor sails. As long as the material is not damaged, you should not disturb it. But when the material is damaged, you need a pro to test and remove it.
Few things to know about asbestos
Do not drill or saw an asbestos material and make sure you do not break it. Fibers can be released into the air and inhaled by people, easily. That can be bad for your health.
Non-friable asbestos is bonded in another material (usually cement). This can be left for as long as it is not damaged. Consider wall panels and pipes for sewer, gas and water pipelines as bonded asbestos. If you are unsure about it, please call a pro that offers asbestos testing Melbourne services (https://www.asbestoswatchmelbourne.com.au/asbestos-testing-melbourne/).
Asbestos roofs can be easily damaged during a natural disaster. The roofs can also be damaged easily because of normal use and also wind. Please, check whether your roofs contain asbestos or not by hiring a removalist who offers asbestos testing Melbourne services.
Friable asbestos is not bonded in another material and thus easier to become airborne. It may be necessary to cover or remove it. Think of asbestos in (old) vinyl sieve, sealing cord and insulation boards as friable asbestos.
Do you want to know if there is asbestos in your house? Then consult a certified asbestos removalist near you.
Asbestos and its’ risk to health
Asbestos consists of very small fibers that you cannot see with the naked eyes. If you inhale them, the fibres can eventually causes lung cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer (mesothelioma) or asbestosis. You can contract one of these illnesses by inhaling and being exposed to asbestos fibers. It may take years until you notice the symptoms.
People who have been working with asbestos for a long time and who have been inhaled asbestos fibers are at the higher risk of asbestos cancer. Due to the health risks associated with asbestos fibres, asbestos materials cannot be used in new products since 2003.
Naturally, asbestos materials, such as asbestos roofs, are damaged by weather and wind over time. For example after a storm, asbestos fibres can be released from the roofs. If you inhale them, it may be dangerous for your health.
Every year, around 1,000 people die from the effects of asbestos. The government does not want any new victims from asbestos anymore. This is why the Australian government banned the use of asbestos since 2003.
How do I know if there is asbestos in my house?
As mentioned before, asbestos cannot be seen by the naked eyes. You need to call a licensed removalist to do asbestos testing Melbourne to identify asbestos fibres. The pro will conduct a series of testing procedure in a NATA accredited laboratory to be able to identify asbestos.
Also, in some cases, the manufacturer or supplier of a product and the owner / landlord of a house may tell you if there is asbestos present. You can try to call them to ask about the presence of asbestos in a product or in your house. But only with a microscope, you can easily see if there’s any asbestos in it.
Overview of products with asbestos
The table below shows a global overview of products that can contain asbestos.
|Products||Where can asbestos hide?|
|Asbestos cement sheets, asbestos board or asbestos board||Fences, roof and staircases, ceilings, in and around chimneys (including the chimney), in or at the cv installation, in galleries of flats, on barns and garages (golf course), in windowsills.|
|Floors||The back of some vinyl floors and some old hard vinyl tiles.|
|Household products||Hair dryers, irons and hotplates.|
|Insulators||Insulation materials, as a fire resistant coating on steel structures.|
Do I need to remove it?
Do you have asbestos materials in your house, such as the old Hardifence product? Are the asbestos fibers still intact within the product? And is the material still undamaged? Then it can be safer to do nothing about it. Because if you remove the product, asbestos fibers can be released into the air.
Please note that if the asbestos materials or asbestos products are not damaged, make sure you do not break them yourself. For example, do not cut or saw them.