Asbestos and your health
The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) identifies some KEY POINTS for house owners:
- Inhaling asbestos fibres may cause asbestos-related disease and death.
- Houses built before 1990 are likely to contain asbestos cement products.
- The health risk of undisturbed asbestos cement products in the home is very low.
- Householders should engage experienced and licensed professionals to undertake an Asbestos Inspection before any home renovations or asbestos removal.
Asbestos only poses a risk to health when asbestos fibres are breathed in. Undisturbed asbestos cement materials in good condition do not pose a health risk because the asbestos fibres are bound together in solid cement. However, if the material is damaged or crumbling (that is, has become friable), or is disturbed by breaking, cutting, drilling or sanding, fibres are released into the air.
Friable asbestos products (such as spray-on insulation or asbestos-rope gaskets in wood stoves and heaters) also produce airborne fibres during normal use or ageing. Crumbling bonded materials, and all friable products, must be carefully managed to prevent the release of fibres into the air.
It is not possible to find out whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it. Careful, close examination of a sample using specialised microscopic procedures is the only way to tell whether a material contains asbestos. It is best for this to be done at an accredited laboratory, one of which Quality Building Inspection collaborates with. If you are suspicious some material in your home contains asbestos do not risk your health and the health of your family and get an Asbestos Inspection done immediately
According to the Australian Government if you are not sure if a product in your house contains asbestos, play it safe and assume that it does, especially if you know the suspect material was installed before 1990. Alternatively, you can get advice from your asbestos consultant at Quality Building Inspection or have the product tested at a laboratory.
For a thorough Asbestos Inspection book Quality Building Inspection online today.