Does Asbestos Really Matter?

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Asbestos has been used for decades as a construction material because of its vast variety of uses, its lightweight, strong, heat and cold resistant and cheap. However when broken asbestos can become a major health hazard.

 

Types of Asbestos

There are six different types of asbestos

  • Tremolite Asbestos
  • Actinolite Asbestos
  • Anthophyllite Asbestos
  • Chrysotile Asbestos
  • Amosite Asbestos
  • Crocidolite Asbestos

All of these types of asbestos are dangerous to humans when inhaled but the most common asbestos used in homes are:

  • Chrysotile Asbestos
  • Amosite Asbestos
  • Crocidolite Asbestos

Chrysotile asbestos is the most common to be found in homes thou Crocidolite is the most dangerous, when broken Crocidolite asbestos forms miniscule needle like clusters that can very easily become inhaled and cause major damage to the lungs.

After types of asbestos, asbestos can be placed into two categories:

Friable Asbestos is more dangerous as it easily can be broken or damaged and release large amounts of dust into the air that can be inhaled.

Non-friable asbestos is considered less dangerous as it is harder to break and less likely to become airborne, however non-friable asbestos is still incredibly dangerous to inhale.

 

Asbestos and Disease

When inhaled asbestos fibres can cause tiny cuts in the lungs which over time can cause major health problems often only presenting decades after initial inhalation, some of these diseases include:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Asbestosis or fibrotic lung disease
  • Mesothelioma
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Testes Cancer
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural thickening

All of these diseases are generally progressive, chronic and incurable, many of the diseases can lead to decreased respiratory function and death. There is only a limited amount of treatment options available to treat asbestos related illnesses and they can only be treatments as there is no cure yet found for asbestos related lung issues. Thou asbestos is no longer used in construction today asbestos related illnesses are still occuring, more than 600 Australians are diagnosed with asbestos-related disease every year with an added estimate that over 650 people are dying from asbestos related illness every year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-03/fears-asbestos-removal-cost-will-be-too-high/4240848

Where is Asbestos?

Unfortunately asbestos can be found nearly everywhere in Australia, its in businesses, homes, schools and even our water pipes (however there is no scientific evidence that suggests ingesting asbestos can cause any of the above stated diseases), Australia is taking steps to reduce asbestos in public spaces but because of its wide usage it is a slow process. Victoria for example, has removed all high risk asbestos from its schools since 2016 and plans to remove all low risk asbestos by 2020, other states have created registries for schools to list any asbestos within them in. Asbestos can be found in many places some of these include:

  • Guttering
  • Piping
  • Walls
  • Roofs
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Sealants

Unfortunately the government has left most private homeowners to tackle asbestos by themselves so if you suspect your home may contain asbestos you may have to handle the removal by yourself, Asbestos Removal Perth.

 

Get it Tested

The first step to asbestos removal is to get any suspected asbestos professionally tested, this can ensure you know where the asbestos is and what risks it poses to you and your family. Contact a accredited professional to have your home tested, Asbestos Testing Perth, they can come to you take as many samples as needed and take them to NATA accredited laboratory for testing. These tests can normally be completed in less than 24 hours, however multiple samples may take longer to fully test. Once you know if and/or where you have asbestos you can focus on removing it or making it safe for yourself and your family.

 

Further Reading:

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/CA2578620005D57ACA2579FB0008A15F/$File/asbestos-feb13.pdf

https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/about-asbestos/about-asbestos

https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/

 

 

 

 

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