What to Do If You Find Asbestos
For the eye of the unsuspecting public, asbestos is a miracle material that protects their houses and other materials from easily contracting fire. But, behind these advantages to homeowners, the industrial workers suffer from health hazards that are oftentimes fatal. Asbestos was primarily used to fireproof houses; it was also popular as a roofing. However, during the recent years, many diseases have been related to it and it is apparent that many more will be discovered that can be directly rooted to asbestos. But asbestos, as is, does not really cause the diseases. Instead, the culprit is known to be the asbestos fiber that comes from the damaged asbestos materials. These accumulate through continuous dilapidation of asbestos-based products, say the roofing of your attic. Once there are conditions that led to the damaging of the asbestos, it is likely that the material will release asbestos fiber that can be sent to the air. The danger now comes when a person inhales the asbestos fiber since it will likely stay in the air passages - the lungs, thus leaving fibers that can cause asbestos diseases.
Because of its properties, which are described as being either ‘non-friable or ‘friable’, asbestos was seen as being very useful for building products.
Friable asbestos is a material containing asbestos that when dry, is in powder form or may be crushed or pulverised into powder form using your hand. This material poses a higher risk of exposing people to airborne asbestos fibres. Friable asbestos was commonly used in industrial applications rather than the home, although loose-fill asbestos has been found in homes in NSW and the ACT, where it was sold as ceiling and wall insulation.
A total ban on asbestos came into effect in Australia on 31 December 2003. It is illegal to make it, use it or import it from another country. Workers must not handle asbestos unless they have been trained and hold a licence that is current and appropriate for the type of work being done.
There are higher risks though in industrial workplaces such as mines, shipyards, construction sites, and railroads since there are higher degrees of asbestos use. Thus, people who have worked in these places are likely to have higher risks of contracting asbestos diseases. This is also the reason why mesothelioma, laryngeal cancer or asbestosis are considered as occupational diseases.Asbestos diseases will only develop in relation to the degree of exposure. There should be enough concentration of asbestos in the air we breathe before we even begin to develop asbestos disease silently. If such concentration is not met, the likelihood that a person will contract the disease is very low thus, even if you were around a house with dilapidated roofing made of asbestos, that is still not enough reason for your body to react violently. Companies who practice regulation of the degree of asbestos fiber in the atmosphere of the worksites are at very low risks of jeopardizing the health of their workmen.
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