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Community Asbestos Awareness

What Products May Contain Asbestos

Because asbestos is resistant to fire and is very strong, it has been used in many manufactured products. These include materials for building, such as shingles; floor and ceiling tiles; asbestos cement; paper products; automotive products such as brakes; clutches and transmission parts and heat resistant gaskets, coatings and packaging. If asbestos containing products are damaged or disturbed through remodeling, renovation or demolition, the tiny fibers that cause disease get into the air and then are breathed into the lungs, where they can result in drastic health problems over time.

Some of primary sources of asbestos exposure include:

The construction industry, mostly building renovation and demolition activities.

Where asbestos products are made, such as friction products, insulation textiles and other items used for building.
During the repair of clutches and automotive brakes.

When products that contain asbestos are damaged or disturbed, like insulation, acoustical materials, floor tiles and fireproofing.

Different categories of asbestos-containing products include:

  • Cement corrugated sheets, asbestos cement flat sheets, asbestos cement pipes, asbestos cement shingles
  • Roof coatings, pipeline wrap,flooring felt, roofing felt
  • Facings of clutches, drum brake lining,disc brake pads, brake blocks
  • Asbestos Coatings- non-roof coatings, vinyl floor tile, automatic transmission parts
  • Commercial and industrial asbestos friction products such as beater gaskets and sheet gaskets, commercial, corrugated and specialty paper, millboard
  • Rollboard
  • Ceiling panels, tiles and related sundries.
  • Thermal insulation products, including pipe insulation, pipe covering, pipe wrap, cement, block insulation, spray and sundries.

If you believe you have asbestos in your home, it is important to not disturb it. Hire a brisbane asbestos abatement company insure that there is no asbestos in your home. They will take a sample of material and test it to see if it have asbestos fibers. Before you decide to have your house remodeled, you may consider having this test performed. If asbestos-containing materials are damaged through unraveling, fraying or breaking apart the area needs to be sealed off with no access. In addition, do not further disturb the area and contact a professional to see what remedies exist. You should get an assessment from at least two different firms. The material will probably have to be encapsulated or enclosed.

Often, people who suffer from mesothelioma are unaware of their disease until they begin to experience painful symptoms. This is often late in the onset of the disease. Other diseases that can be caused due to asbestos exposure are lung cancer and asbestosis. Asbestosis is a very serious disease that progresses over the years and effects the lungs. It occurs when asbestos fibers are inhaled, irritating the lungs and making breathing more difficult. The side effects can cause the lung tissue to scar and this scarring makes it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood. People who have asbestosis usually have symptoms of shortness of breath and a dry cracking sound when they breathe.

Asbestos used to be found in many consumer products and is still used today in products such as asbestos clothing,asbestos-cement shingle, pipeline wrap, asbestos-cement corrugated sheet, vinyl-asbestos floor tile, automatic transmission components,roofing felt,asbestos-cement flat sheet, clutch facings and disc brake pads.

3 “Must Watch” Videos About Asbestos

The first video here is a great overall video about asbestos. It is a fun (as fun as asbestos can be), scientific, historic and social look at asbestos.
 

 

The second video is by Worksafe QLD and is an illustration of the present dangers surrounding asbestos.
 

 

The last video is a little disturbing production which was created in 1942, titled “The Wonderful Uses of Asbestos”, obviously produced well before the real dangers of asbestos came to light:
 

Asbestos During DIY Renovations

DIY renovators are at high risk of exposure to asbestos. In the past, the majority of Australians exposed to asbestos and later diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma came into contact with this fibrous substance on the job. However, that is steadily changing as more evidence arises that non-occupational exposure to asbestos is occurring during home renovations and women are just as likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma as men.

When homes that contain asbestos are demolished or renovated, the asbestos is disturbed and the fibres become airborne may be inhaled. It is only when those fibres enter the lungs that there is an increased risk of lung cancer or malignant mesothelioma.

Professor Anthony Johnson et al released a study on ‘The Prevalence of Self-Reported Asbestos Exposure During Home Renovation in NSW Residents’ in MJA that found the following:

  • Almost 61% of all home owners who did their own home renovations experienced asbestos exposure during their work.
  • 40% reported that their children and 53% reported that their partner experienced asbestos exposure during those home renovations.
  • The families of people who hired people to do their renovations were less likely to experience exposure to asbestos.
  • Just under 60% of all do-it-yourself renovators cut sheeting which is commonly associated with exposure to asbestos.
  • A power tool was used to cut asbestos products by 37% of DIY renovators. During home renovations, exposure to asbestos is common.

Of the 350 people diagnosed with mesothelioma, the 2014 Australian Mesothelioma Registry’s report found that 137 (40%) of them experienced non-occupational exposure. Home renovators made of 37.2% of them and one third of that group were female.

To prevent asbestos fibres from becoming airborne, never use the following tools on materials containing asbestos:

  • Power tools such as electric sanders, circular saws, angle grinders, and electric drills.
  • Compressed air or high pressure water blasters.

Is There Ever A Situation When Asbestos In The Home Does Not Pose A Health Risk?

When asbestos products are left undisturbed and in sound condition, studies indicate that they are not a significant health risk.

In general, you do not need to remove the asbestos when the fibres are bound firmly within a structure such as a solid cement sheet.

When bonded asbestos products are in your home and in good condition, remember to occasionally check them for signs of damage and leave them undisturbed.

It is not possible to determine whether or not asbestos exists within building products by visual examination alone.

Safety precautions are necessary prior to working with asbestos. Wear a breathing mask or an approved mask as well as protective clothing.

Your first choice should be to hire a perth asbestos removal Company that is filly certified and experienced. Otherwise you can go the DIY route.

You must take precautions if you are planning to remove the asbestos in your home. The removal process for asbestos is both complicated and dangerous. It is best to hire professional asbestos removalist who are licensed. They follow State and Local Government regulations to dispose of it.

However, the most important thing to remember if you are working with asbestos containing materials is that you must minimize the release of small particles, dust and fibres.

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

How Asbestos Dust or Fibers Can be Dangerous to Health

  • When working with asbestos, you need to be very careful, as you can face a number of risks and expose yourself and your family to major health issues.
  • Realize that there is not a safe level when it comes to asbestos exposure.
  • Just disturbing asbestos can generate many dangerous particles into the air, in the form or fine dust, which contain the deadly fibers.
  • On top of this, breathing in the asbestos dust can lead to asbestosis, as well as lung cancer.
  • One specific type of cancer, called mesothelioma, is one which is found in the lining of the lungs, and there is no way to cure it.
  • Malignant mesothelioma, which is a form of incurable cancer, is going to see an increase in the number of reported cases over the coming years.
  • It should be noted that the risk of contracting any related diseases will increase as the exposure rate increases. Also, the number of fibers that are inhaled will also add to the likelihood of getting a disease.

Note that the risk of lung cancer from breathing in fibers will be increased if the person concerned smokes. The symptoms will not be apparent until at least twenty years have passed, which makes it a very difficult disease to account for or deal with. In fact, the average time between exposure and the development of cancer is around forty five years.

Asbestos-Related Disease Statistics

We know that the most common type of asbestos-related diseases in Australia is malignant mesothelioma. This is due to the link between exposure and the development of this type of disease. Statistics show that over ten thousand people are now diagnosed with this form of cancer in Australia (between 1982 and 2009). Men make up 82% of the known cases. Another six hundred cases have been reported since 2003 and diagnosed.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which starts in the lining of the thoracic and abdominal cavities. The disease will usually be in an advanced stage before it is diagnosed, which is why treatment is almost impossible. In general, the survival time for diagnosed patients is ten months. Even just a little exposure is enough to trigger this severe, fatal disease. As noted, there can be forty years before symptoms become clear.

Pleural Disease

This is an inflammation of the outer lining of the lung, which is where the asbestos fibers will find themselves settling. When this happens, this area of the lungs will stiffen and get thick in certain areas. They can then fill with fluid.

Asbestosis

This refers to the scarring of the lungs, when it gets inflamed and scarred, which makes breathing difficult.

Lung Cancer

The risk of lung cancer is very strong when a person is exposed to asbestos, especially when they smoke.

20 Tips for Community Asbestos Safety

Understanding Asbestos – 20 Key Points For Health And Safety

#1: Some 33 percent of households throughout Australia have asbestos, found in materials like the weatherboard, brick and fibrous material.

#2: Asbestos has been accepted and included inside of many construction projects that were built prior to the year 1987, due to changes in law and standards.

#3: You and the people inside of your household can be in serious danger from a health and safety standpoint if any asbestos is moved or disturbed during work inside of your home.

#4: You should never tackle any do it yourself projects if your home has asbestos in a particular area.

#5: You should always operate with any kind of work under the assumption that you have asbestos, just to be on the safe side.

#6: Even though asbestos is incredibly serious, you need to understand that it is completely manageable.

#7: Any time you think that you may have asbestos in your building, you should make sure that you reach out to an asbestos removal contractor who is licensed and insured.

#8: You may have asbestos in any number of materials that are created with asbestos cement, including drainage systems, roof components, gutters and floors. This material could literally be in any component of your home.

#9: If you spot an asbestos outbreak — DO. NOT. TOUCH IT! This means don’t cut it. This means don’t drill, scratch, wipe, scrape or otherwise manipulate it. Call up a professional at once.

#10: If you leave asbestos alone, you typically will not have to worry about the potential health risk that comes with the territory. In a lot of situations, you will not even have to worry about removing the material. Instead, make sure that you leave it alone and constantly get the area inspected for any signs of wear and tear.

#11: Make sure to check with your jurisdiction in order to know the laws and statutes that dictate the removal of asbestos in your local and surrounding area.

#12: You might feel comfortable with getting rid of asbestos on your own, but the best way to go about this is always to reach out to a licensed and insured asbestos removal contractor that can look out for you. This way, you and your entire household will remain safe and sound.

#13: If the asbestos in your home is friable, meaning that it is loose and detached, you should hire the help of asbestos contractors who are used to and equipped to handle such matters.

#14: It is better to pay for asbestos removal than to avoid paying for it. This work is usually pretty affordable and always necessary.

#15: You will find that asbestos removal cost is typically on par with other services offered by plumbers, electricians and other such professionals.

#16: You will typically have disposal costs included in any kind of asbestos removal project that you seek.

#17: Sometimes, handling asbestos can be unavoidable. However, if you must handle it, make sure that you thoroughly research the legal matters and health and safety issues associated with having this material removed.

#18: Any time you work to remove asbestos, you should acquire and wear the proper safety gear and clothing to help you out. This way, you will not breath in asbestos dust or get it on your skin.

#19: Never, ever, ever use power tools like drills or saws on areas that might be affected by asbestos.
#20: If you are ever in doubt, just touch base with a pro.

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