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Asbestos Myths


Want to debunk some shocking asbestos myths? Asbestos Removals Marlborough looks at some of the top myths when it comes to this toxic fibre.


Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre that was mined and used extensively around the globe since 400bc. YES! It’s been that long since this toxic fibre was once hailed a hero in construction, materials, and everything in-between.


This once hailed wonder material has sure attracted some serious conversations over the past few decades. Sadly, some of these conversations have allowed some to become very complacent concerning the dangers and consequences of exposure. We look at the top trending comments circulating around asbestos and debunk a few myths along the way.


If you find asbestos, you must remove it immediately?


This is a very common misconception. If your workplace or home has been recognised as containing asbestos, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to remove it immediately. Undisturbed asbestos is not a health hazard. However, it is highly recommended to seek professional advice to see if there is any danger of it becoming easily damaged or a timeline on when you should consider having it professionally removed.


Is asbestos is banned everywhere?

Unfortunately, no. Many countries still currently use asbestos in a wide range of products. It is also still mined readily around the globe. Border controls in those countries that have banned asbestos (like New Zealand and Australia) are constantly investigating products and containers that come into our countries from others who utilise asbestos in their goods.


You can remove it safely yourself?

This is a big no! Asbestos is a very harmful airborne fibre that once disturbed can lead to horrific disease and death. Even in the smallest form, it can be deadly and contaminate your home or office area. Only trained professionals should remove asbestos. Removing it safely should be of major importance to keep you safe. Professionals will have specialised equipment and breathing apparatus to not only keep themselves safe but ensure the area is free from any asbestos dust that can contaminate an area for a very long time. Asbestos dust can take up to 72 hours to settle and even after this time it can easily re-contaminate an area as the dust is so light and easily projected back into the air. A professional can also test, remove, and dispose of the asbestos safely. Wearing a dust mask will not help, as asbestos particles are so small, professional and specialised breathing protection is required when handling this toxic material.





To harm you, consistent exposure is required?

Again, this is a big myth. Sadly, it can only take one exposure to affect your health. It’s not related to how long you were exposed, but to the levels, you were exposed to. Asbestos-related illness can also take a long time to show symptoms. It can take anywhere from 10-40 years to show any symptoms after exposure. Breathing or swallowing asbestos can cause; asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer and increase your risk of digestive-related cancers.



Is Asbestos is only found in old homes?

Again, this is a myth. Any home in New Zealand built before 2000 probably contains some form of asbestos. It’s important to remember that asbestos was utilised in many different industries. As a miracle material, it was quickly established to be included in a massive array of products. Due to its durability and fire-resistant qualities, it was not only used in roofing, cladding, ceilings, fireboxes, and insulation. Asbestos was also widely used in hairdryers, cosmetics, fake snow, car brakes, and many more products for many decades.


As we strive towards an asbestos-free world, products will keep prevailing that still contain asbestos. The best form of protection is education and awareness. Most importantly if you think you have asbestos, call in the experts to keep you and your family safe.


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