Asbestos Usage

In Australia, asbestos was widely used in construction and other industries from 1945 until the mid 1980s. From the 1970s there was increasing concern about the dangers of asbestos, and its use was phased out. Mining ceased in 1983. The use of asbestos was phased out in 1989 and banned entirely in December 2003. If your house was built or renovated before the mid-1980s, it is likely to contain asbestos cement building materials. The dangers of asbestos are now well known in Australia and there is help and support for sufferers from asbestosis or mesothelioma.

The Dangers of Asbestos

Both friable and non-friable asbestos is known to cause serious health hazards in humans. Exposure to airborne asbestos particles is the greatest risk to health. When the asbestos fibres become airborne, people working with asbestos may inhale particles. These particles remain in the lungs and, over time, can cause serious illness. These include cancers, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, and other non-malignant lung diseases such as asbestosis, pleural plaques and pleural thickening.

When asbestos use was widespread in Australia there were numerous trades that experienced high levels of exposure to asbestos materials such as mining, construction, mechanics, plumbers and electricians. In recent times the amount of industry related asbestos illness has begun declining due to the phasing out of asbestos use, however, asbestos material remains common in Australian homes, commercial buildings and other structures within our communities.

Today asbestos exposure mainly occurs accidentally or by those that choose to ignore the well-documented risks. If left untouched, asbestos material poses no danger within our everyday lives, but a single loose fibre from broken or unsettled asbestos is enough to cause serious illness and even death.

What to do if you discover asbestos

If the asbestos material is not damaged then it does not pose an immediate risk. Undamaged asbestos still causes fear for some and for instance can be seen as a major obstacle to buyers when attempting to sell a property. Many of our customers choose to remove the undamaged asbestos before it has the opportunity to become a problem.

If the asbestos is damaged then you should avoid going anywhere near the material. Stay well away and contact an asbestos removal professional such as Asbestos Solutions immediately to arrange for safe removal and sanitisation of the area.