Is Home Renovation Increasing the Risk of Asbestos Exposure?
Before asbestos was banned from construction materials in the late 20th century, it had a wide range of uses due to the fact that it was flame and heat-resistant and it was made up of durable fibres. And although there are practical uses for the mineral compound, its toxicity greatly outweighs the benefits as any exposure could lead to serious ailments such as cancer and pleural mesothelioma.
Given the fact that it could be found anywhere from the paint on the outside of your house to the walls in your kitchen, you should put a stop on your renovation project until you learn the proper way to assess the presence of the chemical and enforce the proper safety measures.
Asbestos in your home
If your home was built in the twentieth century, especially before 1990, more likely than not, there are certain areas that contain asbestos. While the toxic elements will lie safely dormant within the walls, paint and structure of your home if left undisturbed by reconstruction, renovation and re-painting, they could still be released into the air.
Asbestos is released when you break, crack and drill the walls, the floor, or the ceiling of your home and if not handled and encapsulated immediately, it could have devastating effects on the long-term health of the occupants.
These minerals are naturally-occurring, and they can be found in soil as well. Therefore, if you’re planning on transforming you back yard into a garden, or doing some soil work in your front lawn, you first need to check the soil for asbestos before proceeding.
Signs of asbestos presence
In addition to your home most likely containing asbestos if it was built in the previous century, there are other signs that could point to its presence. For instance, if you have cracks in the walls, holes or breaks in the ceiling or floor, or if old coats of paint are breaking and peeling off, you could be releasing asbestos into the air.
When it comes to soil, there can be no clear signs other than taking a sample for testing – therefore you shouldn’t leave anything to chance and have a professional assess the soil.
In order to repair the damage and protect every occupant from the harmful elements, you need to know how to handle asbestos properly.
First of all, you need to assume that your home renovation project will release asbestos into the air, just to stay safe. If you want to be 100% sure whether a material contains asbestos or not, you need to have a sample material analysed for toxicity. Although, if you want to completely avoid the risk of releasing the carcinogenic particles and inhaling them, you should treat every material as if it definitely did harbor asbestos minerals – better safe than sorry.
Next, you need to hire a trained professional. Toxin awareness and removal in residential areas has boomed in Australia with an ever-growing number of Aussies looking for professional asbestos testing in Sydney and across the continent with the rest of the world following this important trend.
If you live in a health-conscious environment yourself, you’ll have no trouble finding the best asbestos handling and removal service in your area that will help you ascertain the presence of the minerals and how to dispose of or work your way around it.
Asbestos comes in several different forms such as plasters, cements sheets and paper lining and it’s usually grey or white, with some reports of it also being blue. If you want to find out about the toxin as much as you can, you can get training courses at an asbestos training and information centre in order to gain the necessary knowledge that could prove to be lifesaving.
Asbestos is a very dangerous group of minerals that, if not handled properly could have devastating effects on your long-term health. By staying vigilant and employing pre-emptive solutions before you start your renovation project, you can easily and effectively ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones.