Australia has banned asbestos since December 31, 2003. Nobody should sell, supply, store, use, reuse, and import products that contain this mineral countrywide. This ban, however, doesn’t apply to existing installations, such as asbestos cement sheeting or roofing and vinyl tiles that contain asbestos. This is because they could be left alone until such time they require replacement.
What is Asbestos and Why is it Banned?
The term asbestos refers to a group of fibrous silicate minerals that occur naturally. As it’s heat resistant and extremely durable, many people in the past have used it in a host of products. These include roofing materials, asbestos pipes and cement sheets, brake and clutch linings, boilers, gaskets, electrical fittings, plastics, floor tiles, textiles, and building materials.
Asbestos fibres found in stable materials like cement sheets don’t pose a serious health risk, but they could disperse and become airborne. EOSH Consulting and other licensed asbestos inspection specialists in Perth explain that this is true once you remove or disturb them. This poses a serious health risk and removing it by yourself is not advisable.
How Asbestos Could Impact Your Health
When breathed in, asbestos fibres could result in asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Your risk of developing these life-threatening diseases are higher depending on the fibres you’ve inhaled. You also have a higher risk of contracting lung cancer if you are a smoker.
The people who have developed serious health issues are those who had regular exposure to high concentrations for a long period of time. Their symptoms appeared years following their first asbestos exposure. These include workers in asbestos manufacturing, construction, milling and mining, as well as workers in the shipbuilding and power sectors prior to the countrywide ban on asbestos. The family members of these workers might have likewise experienced asbestos exposure without knowing it due to their loved one’s asbestos-contaminated clothing.
Many people could still feel the effects of asbestos exposure to this day. If you’re concerned about asbestos in your workplace or in your home, it’s best that you seek help from a licensed asbestos inspector and removalist sooner.