Asbestos is a deadly material that was used to construct homes in Australia. While it’s true that it was primarily used in homes and buildings built before 1990, it doesn’t mean that your modern home is risk-free. Some asbestos products were still being imported and used to make homes built after 1990, meaning you could still be at risk. Breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is why it’s extremely important to remove any asbestos present in your home or office.
Common Places Where Loose Or Bonded Asbestos Can Be Found In Your Home:
- Cement tile underlay
- Bathroom linings
- Eave linings
- Corrugated cement roofing
- Flue pipes
- Ceiling insulation products
- Textured paint
- Vinyl floor tiles or coverings
- Boiler insulation
- Fire retardant material on steelwork
- Cement moulded products
Precautions To Take When Removing Asbestos
Bonded asbestos products that are in good condition are low risk compared to asbestos fibres. While you’re allowed to remove it yourself, using a licensed professional is always a better idea as removal can disturb the fibres, releasing them into the air you breathe. If you do decide to remove any asbestos yourself, the following precautions apply:
- Use regulation compliant, disposable overalls, hats, gloves and half-face particulate respirators.
- Ensure that there’s proper ventilation.
- Place plastic drop sheets around the work area to contain any debris.
- Moisten the product surface first to minimise the risk of fibres becoming airborne
- Use hand tools instead of power tools for better control when drilling or grinding
- Once you’ve removed the product, double wrap the material in heavy-duty builders’ plastic and seal it tightly with tape.
- Ensure the plastic covered package is clearly labelled with an asbestos warning.
Once you’re done and sufficiently clean the area, wash your hands thoroughly and change your clothes, disposing of it appropriately with a plastic bag.
Once you’re ready for disposal, contact the Environment Protection Authority to find your nearest authorised facility. Remember even when transporting the asbestos to the disposal facility, you should take every precaution to ensure your safety, those of your family and the environment.