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  • Asbestos Removals Marlborough

Asbestos Exposure

Wondering what the effects of asbestos exposure are and what you should do if you think you have encountered this toxic fibre? Asbestos Removals Marlborough looks at the common ways people are affected and what you should do if you find yourself with an asbestos problem.

Asbestos exposure is not as common today as it was 10-20years ago. Once the details of this toxic fibre became well known, many countries around the globe put a total ban of importing and utilising this once hailed material. However, as this material was such a big success before the realisation of its deadly nature, many buildings and homes contain asbestos hidden behind walls, on roofs, flooring and ceilings.

When disturbed, asbestos will release airborne material and dust. The dust contains microscopic asbestos fibres that when inhaled or ingested can cause irreversible damage.

Asbestos microscopic fibres can remain in the air for hours. Meaning anyone working in that area could be in danger of exposure. It can take anywhere from 48hrs to 72hrs to settle.

Many of those who are exposed to asbestos are done so accidentally. DIY renovations, and home improvements pose a particular problem. As many homeowners are desperate to save money during their renovation, asbestos can easily become damaged, cut or sanded, releasing toxic fibres in the air. This not only put you and your family in danger – but also the contractors working on your renovation.

The number of asbestos fibres released depend on the amount of asbestos in the material that has been disturbed. How it was handled and worked on (think sanding vs drilling), the degree of damage and wear and how tightly the fibres in the asbestos are bound. If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, it’s advised to contact your local health board for advice.

Minimal contact may result in mild respiratory symptoms, such as coughing as your body attempts to remove the fibres. While extended exposure could cause serious asbestos related diseases.

Help! We think we found asbestos!

If you suspect you have asbestos or have found asbestos, it’s vitally important you clear the area immediately. Contractors in construction and home renovations are required by law to halt the building work and seal off the area. An asbestos testing expert will then be called to check and test the worksite for asbestos. If the test comes back negative homeowners will be issued a certificate to indicate work can continue. If asbestos is identified, a qualified asbestos removal company will need to undertake the serious work of removing and disposing of this toxic fibre.

This can also come at a cost – one that may not be in your budget in terms of your overall renovation. It’s advised to seek advice before your renovation begins to determine if there is any asbestos lurking that will affect your budget and your timelines.

Having an expert team come and evaluate your renovation and build can prevent this from occurring and give you a good indication if asbestos is present. Most homes built before the year 2000 will contain some sort of asbestos. Newly build homes are not allowed to use any asbestos related materials.

Asbestos In the Home (according to the Ministry of Health)

  1. Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.

  2. Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.

  3. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds on wall and ceiling joints.

  4. Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in old gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.

  5. Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.

  6. Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.

  7. Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and linoleum, and as backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.

  8. Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.

  9. Oil and coal furnaces, wood burners and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

  10. The soil around your home may have asbestos in it from inappropriate removal or storage, or from deteriorating roof or wall cladding (or other sources.)

If you suspect you have asbestos call in the experts at Asbestos Removals Marlborough.

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