Unfortunately the hazards associated with asbestos were not known in the 1800s when asbestos was first combined with building materials to provide them with a higher insulation quality. Asbestos is found in many forms, several of which are used in construction materials and others which appear in construction materials as contaminants. All of these different forms of asbestos though, have now been found to present a serious health risk when combined with construction materials. At first the materials are safe, presenting no health risk but as those materials are tampered with or start to break up, the asbestos in them is released as dust and those asbestos dust fibers get stuck in the lungs where they contribute to mesothelioma and cancer.
Throughout the 1800s and up until as late as the 1990s, asbestos was regularly added to construction materials but after that, one by one, countries started to ban its use in the construction industry with Australia banning its use in 2003. Unfortunately though, about 50% of the buildings constructed prior to the bans contained some elements of asbestos, either in roofing, cement or in tiles and paint. These buildings still present a health risk by asbestos and so many people in Sydney and elsewhere around the world are having their properties tested for the existence of asbestos.
There are several companies that deal with asbestos removal Sydney and those same companies will test for asbestos and also dispose of it in a safe and appropriate manner to ensure it does not have its fibers dissipated into the atmosphere. As there are several different types of asbestos that were used in the construction business and several others that may be present as contaminates, each requiring its own special handling and disposal, this is a job for professional and not DIY enthusiasts.
Obviously if you own a home in Sydney that was constructed prior to Australia’s ban on it in construction work in 2003, it is possible that the house contains asbestos in at least some of its building materials and if it does, you and your family could be at risk of inhaling those asbestos fibers and start to suffer from mesothelioma or cancer. To at least know if the risk exists, you should perhaps contact a specialist to carry out asbestos tests on your home. If traces of the harmful asbestos are found, the same company that does the testing can remove it.
Obviously as asbestos fibers can be harmful to health, they must be disposed of safely and countries nad even some local districts will have special instructions which must be followed in order to dispose of the asbestos correctly and safely. The companies that test for and remove the asbestos will be fully aware of all of these regulations and will ensure that the guidelines are followed in order to ensure the asbestos is no longer a threat to anyone’s health.
Even if a building is demolished, the asbestos fibers will be released and cause an equally dangerous health hazard.