Asbestos is in many Australian homes and businesses. It was used for many applications such as, bricks, textiles, tiles, insulation, and roofing, and for many years, the long-term effects of asbestos exposure were unknown. Eventually, many people who were exposed to asbestos became very ill and many passed away from asbestos-related lung diseases.
There is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure, and if in doubt about the materials used in your building, you should consider having asbestos testing conducted in your home and workplace.
Asbestos exposure can result in several diseases:
• Benign pleural lung disease
• Lung cancer
The likelihood of developing abestos-related lung diseases increases with the number of inhaled asbestos particles and duration of exposure. It is highly recommended that you have asbestos testing conducted in your home and business for everyone’s health and safety, particularly if renovations are planned.
Asbestos Testing in the Workplace
All controllers of workplace premises have the legal responsibility to identify asbestos containing materials (ACM). The controllers must have the all ACMs listed in an Asbestos Register. The Asbestos Register is to be accessible for every employee in the workplace. The Asbestos Register must be updated at least every twelve (12) months or as ACM workplace conditions change.
Asbestos testing specialists can conduct the necessary evaluation procedures on the property. If ACMs are identified, the asbestos testing specialists will make recommendations to contain the hazard or conduct asbestos removal and asbestos remediation actions.
Although there is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure, the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) standards recommend airborne asbestos particles should be at a detectable level of less than 0.1 asbestos particles per 1 millilitre (cubic centimeter, cc) of air (1 asbestos particle per 10 cc of air).
Airborne particles are solids suspended in the air. Airborne asbestos particles are approximately 0.7 – 90 microns in size (0.0007 – 0.09 mm). For comparison, airborne talcum powder dust particles are about 0.5 – 50 microns (0.0005 – 0.05 mm) in size.
An Occupational Hygienist or other asbestos testing specialist in New South Wales can perform the necessary procedures to determine the amount of airborne asbestos particles in the workplace.
Asbestos Testing in the Home
In New South Wales and throughout Australia, asbestos materials were used for many housing components and utilitarian fixtures. Asbestos provided inexpensive protection for homes, however those qualities that made it useful in protecting your home now make it a serious health hazard.
Asbestos is a mineral with textile and pliable qualities. Some forms of asbestos can be woven into fire-proof and flame-retardant fabrics, such as insulation. Other forms of asbestos can be compressed into desired shapes to make pipes, rain gutters, and roofing materials. Some of these materials may have been used when your home was constructed.
The health hazards occur when these objects are damaged and the asbestos flakes off and become airborne. You and your family are at risk of inhaling airborne asbestos particles.
Asbestos-related lung diseases are a result of long-term exposure and particle inhalation. Asbestos in your home is considered to be long-term exposure. You may be at risk for asbestos-related lung diseases.
Asbestos testing specialists have the tools and equipment to determine the presence and amount of airborne asbestos particles in your home and workplace. For peace of mind and everyone’s health and safety, contact an asbestos testing specialist to evaluate your home and workplace for the presence of asbestos.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Anyone who has health-related concerns and questions about asbestosis or other health conditions should seek advice from a fully licensed health or medical professional as soon as possible.