What Is Asbestos and Why Should We Worry?

Asbestos is a natural mineral fibre that was commonly used in a variety of construction materials due to its heat-resistant properties and durability. It was used in products such as insulation, roofing materials, flooring, and automotive parts.

The danger of asbestos is that when the fibres are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs and cause various serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These health problems may not become apparent for many years after exposure, making asbestos exposure particularly insidious.

Although the use of asbestos in products has been banned in many countries, it can still be found in many older buildings and structures. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of the potential for exposure and take appropriate precautions to protect yourself and others from exposure. If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How Do I Know If There Is Asbestos In My Home?

If your home was built prior to the 1980s, there is a possibility that it contains asbestos. However, it is not always easy to determine if a substance contains asbestos just by looking at it, as asbestos fibres are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

The only method to verify the presence of asbestos is through testing. You can hire a certified asbestos professional to take samples of suspected materials and send them to a lab for analysis. These professionals can also conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify any potential sources of asbestos.

Common areas where asbestos is found in older homes include insulation around boilers, pipes, ducts, flooring, ceiling tiles, and textured paints and coatings.

If you suspect your home may contain asbestos, it is important to avoid disturbing any suspect materials and contact a certified asbestos professional to have them tested and, if necessary, removed safely. Attempting to remove or handle asbestos-containing materials on your own can be extremely dangerous and increase the risk of exposure.

What Is An Asbestos Survey?

An asbestos survey is a comprehensive inspection of a building or structure to identify materials containing asbestos. The survey is typically conducted by a certified asbestos professional, who will inspect all accessible areas of the building, including ceilings, walls, floors, and any areas that may contain pipes or ducts.

The reason for the survey is to determine the presence, type, location, and condition of any materials that may contain asbestos and to assess the risk of exposure to asbestos for occupants of the building.

There are two asbestos surveys: management surveys and refurbishment/demolition surveys. A management survey is typically carried out when the building has occupants. The purpose is to find materials containing asbestos that could be disturbed during normal occupancy.

A refurbishment and demolition survey is carried out before any refurbishment or demolition work, and the purpose is to identify all asbestos-containing materials that may be disturbed during the work.

After the survey, the asbestos professional will provide a detailed report that identifies any asbestos-containing materials and recommends appropriate measures to manage or remove the materials safely. It is important to mention that the presence of asbestos does not necessarily mean that it needs to be removed immediately. In many cases, it can be safely managed in place with proper precautions and monitoring.


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