Asbestos-containing material (ACM) was widely used throughout Queensland in the construction industry from around 1940 to mid-1980s. Asbestos was used in some form or manner in over 3,000 products.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral, mined from the ground and known for its durability. Between the 1940s and 1980s, many of the products used in the Australian building industry contained asbestos because of its fire-resistant and effective insulating qualities.
Asbestos fibres are minuscule, approximately 50 to 200 times thinner than a human hair, and can be invisible to the naked eye. When asbestos or products containing asbestos are disturbed, these fibres are released into the air and can remain airborne for long periods of time.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
In the late 1980s, the production of products containing asbestos was halted in Australia due to the major health effects it was found to cause. Since 31 December 2003, the use of asbestos had been banned nationwide.
Common health effects that can arise from exposure to asbestos include:
- Asbestosis (scarring of the lung tissue)
- Lung cancer
- Mesothelioma (cancer of the lung and stomach linings) and
- Pleural plaque (patches of thick scar tissue on the lining of the lung)
Living or working in a building containing asbestos materials that are undamaged and undisturbed is not dangerous. It is only when asbestos products are worked with that the fibres are released into the air, causing health problems. Each of Australia’s states and territories has its own guidelines for working with these materials. If you are going to be working with asbestos, or need to remove materials containing asbestos, it is best to consult these guidelines before commencing work.
What if my property has Asbestos?
Inspect My Home have professional inspectors who are qualified to carry out asbestos testing and asbestos audits on commercial properties. If you are unsure whether your building contains asbestos, the team at Inspect My Home can assess the property, and, if needed, develop an asbestos management plan.