Although DIY home projects are now quite popular these days, handling asbestos without professional help is strongly discouraged.
And while it is tempting to follow DIY techniques and methods for home renovations, asbestos exposure leads to health damage.
Unfortunately, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Hence, if you suspect that your home is contaminated with asbestos, or are planning to remodel your home, hire a quality asbestos removal service immediately.
Here are some essential details to consider before you delve into using DIY methods in handling asbestos.
1. Removing Asbestos Is Unsafe and Complicated Process
Dealing with asbestos requires high standard safety measures because its fibers can easily mix with the air and become airborne.
When the air is already contaminated, the fibers can contaminate your clothes and easily enter your body.
Because of its hazardous effect, untrained and unqualified individuals should not handle asbestos.
If you are not licensed, you must have undergone professional training and industry experience.
Moreover, if you are planning on handling asbestos on your property, you have to be equipped with proper tools and gears.
This is to minimize the fibers from being released into the air. As a homeowner, you must prioritize the safety of your family or the people that live near your vicinity.
2. DIY Methods are Illegal in Some Australian States and Territories
Asbestos was widely used in Australia from the 1930s until the 1980s. Due to the high development of chronic diseases related to asbestos, the Australian government has heavily regulated the use of asbestos.
In 2003, Australia banned the use of asbestos in any form. Additionally, it is illegal to sell, store, mine, or transport asbestos in all states.
With that, DIY methods are highly illegal, and therefore, any removal process must be carried out by a licensed removalist.
Even though asbestos is now completely banned, there are still homes that are at risk of asbestos contamination.
For homes that are built in the 1980s, the risk of asbestos exposure is high because the structures are wearing down. This will extremely expose people to toxic particles.
The first thing to do if you suspect asbestos in your home is to leave the materials as they are.
Make sure that you do not drill, saw, or cut the materials to prevent the fibers from being released.
The area must be left alone and do not allow family members to stay in the contaminated space. If there is already debris, do not touch the material nor vacuum the area.
3. Asbestos Removalists Must Possess the Necessary Licence
With the dangers of asbestos exposure, removalists must be licensed and have the necessary skills to conduct the removal.
This is to ensure that your property is properly decontaminated at the end of the removal project.
Professionals follow standard procedures and risk management plans to ensure that asbestos is highly contained during the removal process.
Aside from the removal process, licensed removalists will carry testing methods to identify which areas are contaminated. Doing so will allow them to craft better management solutions.
There should be no room for mistakes when handling asbestos. If materials containing asbestos are already damaged, they must be contained and removed immediately.
This is to prevent dust particles from contaminating the other parts of the house.
Hence, hiring a reliable asbestos removal service is the safest decision because you want to prioritize your health.
4. Understand the Dangers of DIY Removal
Firstly, asbestos is dangerous enough to cause serious health problems, especially in your lungs.
The body comes in contact with asbestos fibers through inhalation and ingestion.
When asbestos enters the lungs, the fibers lodge into the linings and tissues and cause scarring.
Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases.
Sadly, there is still no cure to reverse the effects of asbestosis, however, patients are treated to relieve the symptoms, as well as to slow the development of the disease.
The health risks should be strong enough to deter a person from handling asbestos without proper license and training.
When the asbestos fibers are already lodged in your lungs, they can cause inflammation and scarring.
Resulting in respiratory diseases. Whilst it takes years for the disease to develop, prevention is always better.
The danger is multiplied because asbestos is not easily identified with the naked eye so a DIY method is just the perfect opportunity to get exposed unknowingly.
However, if you need to remove asbestos-containing materials in your home, you are only allowed to handle bonded or friable asbestos.
Removing non-friable asbestos is illegal to which a qualified asbestos removalist must be obtained.
In NSW alone, you are only permitted to remove a maximum of 10 square meters of friable asbestos.
Beyond that, you are not only endangering your health but you are also vulnerable to penalties.
To conclude, DIY asbestos removal poses great risks. The only way to keep your home safe is to get professional help.