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What You Need to Know About Asbestos in Australia

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Asbestos is a hazardous material that has been used in building materials for decades. It can be found in many homes and commercial buildings throughout Australia, and it is important to know what type of asbestos you might have and the steps necessary to remove it safely. So, what are the different types of asbestos, and what types of safety measures need to be put in place to deal with it?

The Different Types of Asbestos  

In Australia, there are six common types of asbestos found in building materials. These include chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite. Chrysotile is by far the most commonly used form of asbestos and was used extensively before it was banned due to its health risks. Amosite and crocidolite, on the other hand, were only used in limited circumstances due to their greater toxicity. Tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite are rarer forms that were mainly used as filler materials in some specialised products.

Safety Measures for Dealing With Asbestos

Due to the health risks associated with exposure to any form of asbestos, it is important to be aware of safety measures when dealing with this hazardous material. If you suspect your home or business may contain asbestos, it is best to have an expert assess the situation before taking action. An expert will be able to identify which type of asbestos you may have and advise on the next steps accordingly.

When removing any form of asbestos from a property, all safety protocols must be followed, including wearing protective clothing such as gloves, masks and eye protection. You must then:

  • wet down the area prior to removal
  • use duct tape around all exposed edges
  • seal off the area with plastic sheeting
  • avoid contact with insulation fibres
  • use damp rags or vacuums instead of sweeping up debris
  • double bag waste materials before disposing them properly at a landfill site approved for hazardous waste disposal.

Take Appropriate Action

Asbestos can be a dangerous material if not handled properly. It's important for consumers living or working in older properties to familiarise themselves with the different types of asbestos so they can take appropriate measures when dealing with this hazardous material. If you suspect your property contains any form of asbestos, it's always best practice to seek professional help from an experienced contractor. They'll understand how to safely remove it from your property without putting yourself or others at risk from potential exposure.

Contact asbestos disposal services to learn more.