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Asbestos has been around since the 1800s. In the 20th century construction industry took particular interest in the naturally occurring mineral since it was cheap and resistant to heat. History shows that several industries used asbestos in the last couple of decades, till the time through research established its ill effects on human health.
Asbestos has found its way into several fields of manufacturing, engineering and commerce. It was flexible, durable and affordable. People saw no reason to restrict the use of this mineral.
As a result, asbestos is now present in all homes built before the 1980s in Australia, and a few buildings that date to the mid-1990s. Although the Australian government banned the use of asbestos in 2003, the mineral found its way into 3000 different products including flue pipes, gutters, roofs and brakes of automobiles.
Till the mid-1980s, Australia had one of the highest asbestos consumption rates. Until 1984, the asbestos mines were operational in Wittenoom, and the country imported 1.5 million tonnes of the mineral between 1930 and 1983.
What Are the Different Types of Asbestos Your Home May Contain?
Asbestos is of six different types – chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (grey or brown asbestos), tremolite, crocidolite (blue asbestos), actinolite and anthophyllite. Any material containing the mineral can be dangerous to health. You will need the assistance of an expert asbestos removal company to remove it from your home, or workplace. There are two types of asbestos depending on their structure and potential to get into the indoor air.
Any product that contains asbestos fibres in combination with other elements like cement has asbestos in a non-friable form. You can find this form in the buildings of Australia. This form of the mineral does not crumble easily and is more stable than the friable form. It may find its way into the air if the structure suffers damage. Thus, old Brisbane homes hit by storms, earthquakes and flood put the residents in imminent danger of asbestos exposure.
The friable form is easy to crumble and become airborne. You can find this form of the mineral in insulation. If your home is older than 25 years, you might want to consult an asbestos removal and inspection company immediately.
Where Can You Find Asbestos in Your Home?
About 33% of the homes in Australia have asbestos in the walls, floors and roofs. The most common asbestos-containing material in Australian homes can be –
- Gables and eaves
- Vinyl flooring, tile underlay and carpet area
- Walls, plaster and paint
- Roofing and gutters
- The lining behind the wall tiles
- Old fencing
- Fibro Sheds in animal enclosures
- Brick cladding
- Expansion Joints
- Window putty
- Concrete framework
- Packing under the attic beams
- telecommunication pits
Recognising asbestos, at first sight, is very difficult indeed. Before attempting DIY renovations and repairs, you should call the asbestos removal experts at least once for the thorough inspection of your property. The investigation can save you and your family a lot of harassment in the future.