What is asbestos? and what you should know about it.

Asbestos is dangerous.

Asbestos and its health dangers are often in the news. We know it can cause incurable illness in people that have been exposed to it. What is asbestos? and why should you think about getting rid of it ? Here is some information that you need to know.

What is asbestos ?

Asbestos is the name for a common building material used in Australia, especially between the 1940s and 1970s. Statistics show asbestos is present in 1 of 3 homes. A strong and heat resistant product, it was perfect for the Australian climate. It is a dangerous product though and all builders and renovators need to be careful when handling it. 

asbestos fibre flickr
Image credit: flickr

 

What is asbestos made of ?

Asbestos is the combination of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. These are chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite. Asbestos fibres are miscroscopic, however they are very durable. They are also resistant to fire, heat and chemical breakdown. The small fibres that help to make it strong though, are easily inhaled. This makes asbestos potentially deadly.

Pile of broken asbestos
Image credit: Daily Telegraph

 

A variety of building products contain asbestos.

You can find asbestos used in many products including roof shingles, floor tiles, textile products, ceilings and wall materials. You should have all building work checked for asbestos before attempting to remove or alter the product.

renovating fibro house
Image credit: flickr

 

If asbestos is common why is it dangerous?

It became a national health risk when people became very sick after exposure to these products. Easily inhaled, these fibres that stay in the lungs can cause a range of incurable diseases. In 2003 it officially became illegal to import, store, supply, sell, install, use or re-use these materials.

If you are unsure about your property and whether you have asbestos that needs removal, contact ARM Responsible Asbestos Removal on 1300 030 323.