WHAT IS ASBESTOS?

The term asbestos makes reference to six distinctive minerals affiliating to the mineral families-serpentine and amphibole. These are composed of microscopic fibres. Materials constructed from asbestos are strong, fireproof and good sound insulators and that’s why they are principally suited for electrical and building insulation, among other important uses.

 HEALTH EFFECTS

Asbestos was once considered to be a wonderfully inexpensive and efficient building material but was soon discovered to be one of the most dangerous minerals in Australia.

 Asbestos is most hazardous when it is friable and can effortlessly be crumbled by hands, leading to the release of poisonous fibres into the air.  They pose a threat when they are breakable and powdery as they release toxic and lethal fibres into the air, which easily become airborne and enter the body through breathing.  Once these fibres are trapped in the body, they can cause various grave and critical health problems, including cancer and chronic respiratory illnesses. It can take around 10-50 years from the time of exposure for the conditions or symptoms to develop.

 Mesothelioma is a quite rare form of cancer specifically caused due to exposure to asbestos-containing materials and even being in close vicinity of asbestos for a short period of time can put you at risk of developing this cancer. Other diseases associated with asbestos include- asbestosis, pleurisy, pleural effusions, pleural plaques, laryngeal and ovarian cancer and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

People at heightened risk of developing these diseases are those who have worked as carpenters, builders, electricians, plumbers, painters, asbestos miners, etc.

Where is asbestos generally found?

The most common places where this toxic material can be found are window seals, door seals, property insulation, traditional furniture and wood adhesion. It can also be contained in roofing, wall cladding, gaskets, flooring and any form of cement.

Although asbestos is now completely banned as a construction material in Australia, it is advocated for properties built prior to 1991 to undergo an asbestos inspection and have regular testing conducted wherever necessary.

It is also prevalent in lower-cost construction including many low-budget houses, schools, shops, churches and even hospitals where old asbestos products may have fallen into disrepair or were damaged. Also, asbestos insulation around pipes can degrade with time, releasing deadly dust into the air.

Asbestos in ceiling tiles and numerous other building materials might have got damaged when any new construction took place and if not inspected, can cause health-related problems in the future.

Asbestos Removal

If you think that your property contains asbestos, you must immediately call for expert asbestos consultants to come and examine your property and conduct a full survey at the site. Asbestos removal is a process that requires a lot of commitment to standardised services and procedures which adhere to government standards. Only qualified and licensed asbestos assessors can accurately identify and adequately manage any asbestos situation through meticulous inspection, testing, monitoring and removal of the harmful substance. For this process to go smoothly, the team of experts always come prepared with a well organised and efficient Asbestos Management Plan which contains all the details regarding the inspection and if any harmful Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are found,  how to remove  and dispose them off safely.

ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN

A competent and well-informed asbestos management plan is highly relevant for accurate inspection and supervision of houses, workplaces, buildings and other relevant structures. It prevents the residents, staff members, site visitors and others from being exposed to lethal asbestos fibres. It presents an outline of the strategies and actions required to proficiently remove the asbestos on the site.

 

A well-versed asbestos management plan includes:

1.     All the essential details of maintenance and service work on the asbestos, including:

a.     Information on who performed the work

b.     Particular dates the work was done on

c.      Any clearance certificates issued

d.     The range of the work done.

2.     Decisions about management options and the reasons for these decisions.

3.     A timeframe for necessary action, including high priorities and dates for examining risk assessments and specific conditions that may affect the timeframe.

4.     How people are informed about the presence of asbestos in their homes/workplaces and the control measures being taken.

5.     Training arrangements for workers and contractors.

6.     The responsibilities of people involved in the plan.

7.     Monitoring arrangements and safe work methods.

Today, several companies all across Australia provide top-notch asbestos management plans for both commercial and industrial environments.

Before going for any new construction, demolition or refurbishment, always make sure that your site has been inspected thoroughly. If you have discovered even a small amount of asbestos at your home/workplace, please call for highly competent specialists who offer a proficient and cost-effective asbestos removal plan.