Thankfully, the word is out about Asbestos, but although asbestos is banned in Australia, thousands of homes are discovered by asbestos testing to contain this toxic mineral which can produce long-term health effects.
Asbestos was phased out in the 1990s and by 2003 was completely illegal in Australia. Still illegal meant merely that industries, including the building industry, needed to stop using asbestos, but thousands of homes already had asbestos used in the construction.
The good news is that most builders in Australia stopped using asbestos in the 1980s, so if you have a home built in the 1990s, it may have a limited amount of asbestos, but prior to the 80s asbestos was very widely used.
For example, in the 60s and 70s, it is estimated that as many as half of all homes were built with a substantial amount of asbestos.
So how do you know whether there is asbestos in your home or not?
The plain fact is you don't know without a lab test. There may be construction residue from your walls, your pipes, your ceilings, your vinyl floors, your popcorn ceilings, the insulation around your pipes, your drywall, your sheeting, and your roof.
Is exposure to asbestos dangerous
Yes. Most people are on the assumption that you have to be exposed to asbestos for many years like those who worked in shipyards or power plant workers or construction workers are affected by exposure to asbestos, but the fact is, there is no level of exposure to asbestos.
The Australian government quite pointedly states there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Moreover, the government declares that Some people who develop an asbestos-related disease can only identify a single exposure in their past to asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has numerous, microscopic fibers attached. Asbestos is naturally resistant to corrosion and makes a great insulator, which is why it was used in so many products for years.
However, it took a long time for many governments and health authorities to eliminate or ban asbestos because the vast majority of workers coming up with asbestos-related diseases to get seriously sick.
Okay, I get it, asbestos can be bad stuff, but I don't work in a shipyard. How does asbestos affect me and my family?
Two ways. One is that simply natural corrosion. Sometimes in your home, walls, pipes, and roofs naturally corrode over time.
However, the vast majority of asbestos-related problems come from home improvement projects. Say a contractor is tearing down a wall in order to expand your living room or a roofing company is ready to reroof your house.
If the contractor has reason to suspect that asbestos is present, they will immediately stop work (to prevent their employees to be exposed to asbestos) and insist there be lab testing done before they can actually do their work.
Of course, if there is no asbestos present, then there is no problem, but if there is asbestos present, then you need an asbestos removal in brisbane contractor to take care of the problem.
What is an asbestos removal contractor
An asbestos removal contractor, will, first of all, send a trained technician to your home to collect samples for lab testing. This technician will come armed with a hazmat suit, rubber gloves, rubber boots, goggles, and a respirator.
Until the lab test comes back, the asbestos abatement specialist will seal the area off with plastic to keep any potential asbestos fibers from spreading.
Once the lab tests come back positive for asbestos, the contractor will go about removing the cause of the problem.
The removal will take place with several workmen wearing hazmat gear, and not only is careful attention played on vacuuming all asbestos with Hepa filtered vacuums but the removal process involves the use of special trucks to haul the asbestos away.
Note that asbestos removal companies are not general contractors, so you most likely will still need a general contractor after they have cleared up the asbestos to get your home repairs complete.
Where do I find an asbestos removal contractor?
One easy way to find an asbestos removal contractor is to go to https://www.iseekplant.com.au/asbestos-removal.
Simply plug in your city and postal code and voila, Iseekplant.com will match you up with competent asbestos removal contractors in your area.
Iseekplant.com often comes up with the names of several asbestos removal contractors in your area, which often ensures there is a minimum of delay before your construction project can be completed.