In the 1800s it was discovered that by adding asbestos to cement, tiles and other construction materials, the insulation of those materials became better and their resistance to fire also improved. Asbestos was therefore added to many construction materials in the hope that the buildings would be better insulated and better protected against fire. This practice continued into the late 1990s but then it was discovered that the asbestos in those construction materials also posed a potential health hazard. The asbestos became an actual hazard when the materials they were used in were disturbed or damaged as at that time, the asbestos fibers would be released into the air where they could be inhaled. Once these fibers were inhaled into the lungs, they could not be removed and they would sit there. It was then further discovered that those asbestos fibers which were trapped in the lings contributed to the onset of both mesothelioma and cancer and were therefore a serious health hazard.
Up until the hazard presented by asbestos being present in construction materials was realized, it is estimated that 50% of all buildings constructed, between the 1800s and 1990s, contained elements of asbestos in one or other of their construction materials. Once the health hazard was known, countries started to ban the use of asbestos in construction materials and that ban, in Australia, started in 2003.
If you own a building that was built prior to the ban coming into effect and want to know if your building presents any health hazard due to asbestos being present in its materials, companies like VIP Asbestos Removal Sydney can help. These are companies that now specialize in the testing for and removal of asbestos in buildings. As these companies can remove asbestos, they are also fully aware of how to safely dispose of any asbestos they may remove, ensuring that it no longer presents a health hazard to anyone.
Due to modernization, many of the older buildings are starting to be demolished and although the buildings which will be put up in their place will not contain any asbestos, many of those buildings to be demolished do and when they are demolished, the asbestos will be freed into the atmosphere where it can be freely breathed in by anyone. For this reason, prior to any demolition work taking place on these older buildings, the companies that specialize in asbestos removal are called in. these companies will first carry out tests to see if asbestos is present in the buildings and if it is, remove the asbestos prior to the building being demolished.
Although your house may not be due to be demolished, you may still want to have the tests carried out to see if asbestos is a potential health hazard to you or your family but only of course, if your home was built before 2003 as otherwise, due to the ban, it shouldn’t. Any asbestos materials that these companies do find, they ensure they dispose of them in an appropriate way and in accordance with any safety regulations that may exist.