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Despite our expanded knowledge of the extreme risks associated with asbestos, statistics show that approximately 125 million people are still exposed to it worldwide.
With the severity of the health risks that are associated with asbestos exposure, as well as the potential legal ramifications you can face if you illegally remove or dump asbestos in Australia, it’s crucial you hire a team of professional asbestos specialists to remove any asbestos that may be present on your property.
In this article, we detail the issues that may be caused by asbestos and important reasons why your business should hire a professional team to test for and remove it as soon as possible.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in rock formations. It has incredible resistance to heat, electricity, and corrosion, which is why for decades, it was used throughout the building and construction industry. It was used as insulation, as well as often mixed with other products, like adhesives and cement, to create building materials.
It was most commonly used in building materials from the 1950s to the 1980s in Australia, however, by 2003, the use of asbestos was totally banned. This was because even though the asbestos fibres were useful, they were also found to be extremely toxic and harmful to humans if they are ingested.
When an individual inhales or ingests asbestos, its minuscule mineral fibres enter the body and can actually remain inside, deep in the lung tissue. The body has a hard time trying to expel these foreign fibres and instead attempts to get rid of them by absorbing them. This can cause scar tissue in the lungs and a number of health concerns.
Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, a rare but extremely dangerous form of cancer that’s aggressive and very difficult to treat.
Certain occupations can increase someone’s chances of becoming exposed to asbestos and its adverse effects. As the ban on the use of asbestos in Australia has been in place for some time now, the risk of asbestos exposure has long since decreased, however unfortunately there are still some instances that pose high risks. Some occupations that may come across asbestos more often than others include construction workers, firefighters, miners, military personnel, and people who work in shipping and similar industries.
Even if you don’t work in one of these occupations, you could still be at risk of asbestos exposure. In Australia, when asbestos use was at its peak (between the late 50s and late 80s), asbestos building materials were used to build around 1 in 3 homes. The use of asbestos in Australia did start to wind down from the late 1980s but it wasn’t fully banned until 2003, so if your home or building was built between 1950 and 2003, then asbestos may be present in some form or another.
You can have a professional asbestos specialist come to your home and test your property for the presence of asbestos. This is great not only for peace of mind, but also if you’re planning a renovation or any maintenance on the home or building, you can ensure you’re not going to accidentally be exposed to asbestos fibres or expose anyone else.
If asbestos is present in your home or workplace, then it’s imperative that the condition of this asbestos is known and monitored. While non-friable asbestos, which means that it is bonded with other materials and not easily broken with little pressure, is not always a risk, if you have asbestos present in your property, we recommend considering having it removed.
Here’s why you should work with an asbestos removal professional:
People may breathe asbestos into their lungs without even realising it. If you’re not aware that you have asbestos in your home and you do something to disturb the fibres – like drilling, sanding, cutting into or any other general maintenance, you might not realise that you’re releasing the asbestos.
It’s really difficult to see the asbestos fibres with the naked eye and unless you’re knowledgeable of the asbestos and occupational hygiene industry or the building industry, your ability to know where it might be is certainly going to be limited.
And since the body virtually has no way of expelling it, the effect can lead to destructive results. There are three major health risks that are associated with asbestos:
Professional asbestos removal companies can test for the presence of asbestos and let you know if you have a problem. If there is, they will be able to develop a plan to remove the problem in a way that keeps everyone involved safe.
If you don’t follow the government rules and regulations for how to treat and handle asbestos, you may find yourself in hot water.
Illegally removing asbestos from your property could result in large fines, and if you’re found to have disturbed asbestos fibres and caused exposure to other people, this could result in legal action being taken against you.
It’s best to know the position you’re in when it comes to asbestos – whether asbestos is present, and if so, whether its current condition is of danger to you. Once you know if there is asbestos, the condition of it and how much there is, then you know what you’re dealing with and can make an informed decision about professional asbestos removal.
A legitimate asbestos removalist can remove the asbestos safely and ensure that you don’t get into trouble for mishandling and disposing of asbestos.
To carry on from the above point, there are strict regulations on asbestos (and other hazardous goods and materials) and how it is to be managed.
If you own or run a workplace that has asbestos present and you haven’t taken the necessary precautions and followed the rules about how to monitor the asbestos, you could find yourself in hot water. Not to mention you could be putting the health of your employees at risk too.
While you might have to think about the expense associated with asbestos removal and remediation, this is often going to be significantly less than fines and punishments you might face if you do nothing.
Asbestos removal is definitely not something that should be DIY-ed. Proper removal of asbestos is extremely precise and difficult work that requires special tools and knowledge.
The simple act of moving asbestos can cause a cloud of particles to spread into the air, putting you and anyone else in and around the building at immediate risk. If you’re unsure of what you’re doing, you could be putting dozens of lives in peril.
This is why you should always bring in experts that are professionally trained to handle and remove asbestos. They have the appropriate safety equipment necessary to keep themselves and everyone else safe. They also know how to remove asbestos without causing it to spread onsite. Asbestos removal companies are constantly up to date with the newest standards and practices to ensure the safety of your establishment.
One thing that many people fail to consider about asbestos is what happens to it once it’s removed.
Asbestos isn’t something that can be thrown in the dumpster or taken into the backyard to be burned. The government has laid out specific measures regarding proper asbestos disposal to minimise exposure and limit its harmful effects on the environment.
When you hire a professional asbestos removal company, you won’t have to worry about what happens afterwards. The team you hire will see to it that it’s disposed of in a safe and effective manner that follows the local regulations to a T.
Asbestos removal companies are not all the same. Some specialise in asbestos abatement, while others offer demolition services and general contracting services that may include removal. Before officially hiring a team of professionals, make sure that you verify their qualifications, so that you can more easily find the one that best suits your needs.
Here at Asbestos Australia, we’re professional asbestos removalist specialists. We offer a range of asbestos services to people in Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales. We’re based in Melbourne; however, we’re qualified and able to perform our services in Adelaide, South Australia, Sydney, and New South Wales and in Melbourne and throughout the rest of Victoria too.
We can inspect, test, remove and dispose of asbestos that may be in your home or on your commercial or industrial property. If you want peace of mind about asbestos on your property or you need someone to remove it safely and efficiently, then you need Asbestos Australia.
Call us on (03) 9704 2952 to organise a free quote for our asbestos removal service.
Posted By: Tommy Clappers