Asbestos is a natural mineral that was used extensively in construction until the 1980s, when it was discovered that the minute slivers that can be released into the atmosphere can cause various types of cancer. Since 2003, the use of asbestos has been banned, and with so many buildings that still contain this harmful substance, the removal is still going on. Some people do not really understand how asbestos can be so dangerous, and many think if you even touch the substance, you will become ill. The truth is that asbestos can break or flake and when it does, the tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air, and if they are inhaled, they can lodge in a person’s respiratory system, and over time, cancerous growths can occur.
This is a fatal condition and it is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres, and a person might carry this for many years before the condition makes itself known. Generally speaking, asbestos comes in pressed sheets and is not dangerous when it is intact, but when it ages, the sheets can become brittle or soft, and this is when tiny fibres that are invisible to the human eye are released into the air. If you do find asbestos in your home, do not handle it, as even slight movement can cause it to flake. The best solution is the call in an asbestos consultant, and he or she can take steps to safely remove it from your home. If you live in Australia, and suspect a substance in your home might contain asbestos, call in an environmental consultant from SERS, who is qualified to test for, and safely remove asbestos.
If your home was built before 1980, it is possible there could be asbestos present, and if you have decided to have some improvements or renovations done, this might disturb it. Many homes used asbestos mixed with cement to produce sheeting which could be used to shore up walls, ceilings or floors. Before starting the work, it is recommended to have someone carry out asbestos sampling, to determine if there are any traces of the harmful substance in your home.
If you do find something you think might contain asbestos, it is probably safe in its current condition, but any attempts to remove it could cause the harmful fibres to become airborne, and if people, or pets inhale this, it could cause serious health problems later on. The experts are trained in both detection and removal of asbestos, and even though its use was prohibited more than twenty years ago, there are still structures that contain asbestos, in one form or another.
The dangers of asbestos cannot be over emphasised, and trying to remove it is definitely not recommended, so in the event you suspect it might be present on your property, call out the professionals who will quickly determine if asbestos is present and safely remove it.