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Renovating your property is a great way to add value to your home, which is especially important when it comes to making money. However, there are high risks to be faced. Aside from the usual health and safety hazards, like the use of hazardous equipment and the  sabrina gohlisch risk of electrification, home renovations can pose a much more deadly and silent hazard: asbestos!

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that saw its rise in the construction industry in the early 20th century. Manufacturers preferred it over other materials because it had some quality characteristics such as fire resistance, tensile strength and sound absorption that made it difficult to resist. In fact, it has been considered the easiest way to solve many design problems in building materials.

A majority of people who have developed asbestos-related diseases have typically worked in places or workplaces where they have been continuously exposed to asbestos and have ended up inhaling large amounts of asbestos fibers. For example, construction and farm workers may have engaged in unsafe practices in the past.

The main diseases associated with exposure to asbestos fibers include:

  1. Mesothelioma: This is a type of cancer that affects the human pleura, lung envelope and chest wall, and diaphragm. It could also develop into a serious condition several decades after exposure to asbestos fibers.
    1. Asbestosis: A progressive scar tissue that develops in the lungs and affects breathing.
    1. Lung cancer: Similar to mesothelioma, it can develop several decades after exposure. People with asbestosis and smokers are most susceptible.
    1. Pleural plaques: These are thickened patches of scar tissue on the lining of the lungs.

Governments around the world are implementing various measures to reduce the hazards posed by exposure to asbestos fibers. For example, the Western Australia State Department of Health administers the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992 under the Health Care Act 1911. These Asbestos Regulations set the rules for all persons involved in the removal and disposal, including the sale and re-use, of asbestos materials.

Bound Asbestos Vs. Fibrous Asbestos

In floors, asbestos poses a huge health risk, especially when someone works with and near those floors. Generally, asbestos soil contamination is found in two forms, fibrous and bonded asbestos. The bound type of asbestos is, on average, low risk as the fibers are part of a larger block and consequently cannot be inhaled. The fibrous asbestos type is the one that poses a high risk. These are the loose asbestos fibers that lie around in the floors and could easily become airborne and inhaled if there is a disturbance.

Darker side with far worse consequences

What manufacturers didn’t know was that for all these benefits, asbestos had a darker, darker side with far worse consequences. Asbestos fibers, which work wonders in a variety of applications, are a cause of some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Breathing in asbestos fibers can lead to complications from asbestosis (scarring of lung tissue), lung cancer, pleural disease and mesothelioma. Medical studies by the Australian Department of Health have shown that breathing in a single asbestos fiber can be life-threatening over a long period of time.

Tragically, over the years, asbestos found increasing use and was widely used in various applications such as cigarette filters, oven mitts, runways and even shoe soles – in other words, the whole world was watermarked with asbestos. One of the places where asbestos has found significant use is in the home construction industry.

If you’re arguing that asbestos is a thing of the past, you need to reconsider your point of view. The most shocking thing about asbestos is that it is still present in two-thirds of Australian homes built from the early 20th century to 1984. This means that if you are a resident of a home built over two decades ago, you could be a potential victim of having asbestos in your home. Conducting an asbestos test and getting rid of possible asbestos materials can help protect your precious life from the dangers of asbestos breaks.

Containing materials are well maintained

But don’t be alarmed! As long as asbestos-containing materials are well maintained, you are still safe. An asbestos hazard most often occurs when the material containing asbestos is degraded either by natural causes such as inclement weather or human intervention. During interventions, asbestos dust becomes airborne and its fibers are carried into the air.

If you are planning either a short-term or long-term home renovation, you face serious consequences from asbestos.

One of the most common areas where asbestos is found is in roof sheeting and siding. It is highly advisable to contact a professional asbestos roof removal company to dispose of your home’s asbestos roofing. If you perform this task alone, you are putting your life in visible  sabrina gohlisch danger. Research from Safe Work Australia suggests that asbestos disposal is one of the most common ways a person comes into contact with asbestos.

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