Are You at Risk of Asbestos Poisoning?

Asbestos is a material that most people are sure to know about. In Australia, it is widely known as a building material that was banned (the manufacture, use, reuse, sale import, storage, and transport of all its forms) throughout the country by December 2003.

People who are involved in any way in building, construction, transport and other industries that could come into contact with asbestos are advised to undergo medical checkups to determine if their health has become compromised. And homeowners or investors considering the purchase of properties are urged to have the properties inspected for the presence of asbestos first.

The public may know all these about asbestos, but they may not know what the actual material is physically like — or how they can actually come into contact with it.

A constant presence

Mined asbestos, which typically comes in clumps, can be broken down into fibres or bundles of these fibres and are then mixed into cement or other materials to create different building products.

When these manufactured asbestos products or natural deposits of asbestos break down, the asbestos fibres are released into the air. These fibres are invisible to the naked eye. They can remain airborne and travel large distances over prolonged periods of time while remaining virtually unchanged in structure. They do not dissolve in water, and neither do they move through soil.

It is estimated that there are between 10 and 200 asbestos fibres in every 1,000 litres or cubic metre of air. This means that everyone is exposed to low levels of asbestos each day, simply by breathing in the air, although different exposure factors and situations will determine the effect on one’s health.

Given these facts, the answer to the question “Are you at risk of asbestos poisoning?” is yes, to a certain degree.

 Diseases you could potentially develop from asbestos exposure

The asbestos fibres you breathe in can get lodged deep into your lung tissues and cause inflammation or scarring. It can take many years for asbestos-related diseases to develop, and these conditions can be quite serious.

There are four diseases that should be kept in mind if asbestos exposure is more pronounced in your life:

  •  This chronic condition is caused by inflammation or scarring in the lungs and is characterised by coughing, shortness of breath and permanent lung damage.
  •  Pleural plaques. These are typically the earliest signs of asbestos exposure. Smooth, raised and white scar tissue form on the lung’s outer lining, the diaphragm, and the internal chest wall.
  •  This is a cancer of the tissue lining the chest and abdominal cavities (or other body cavities).
  •  Lung cancer. Tumours appear mostly in the lining of the tubes that lead to the lungs, the middle of the lungs, or the smaller airways.

A person may exhibit signs of more than one of these diseases. Schedule an examination with your physician if asbestos exposure is common in your location or line of work to rule out any conditions or to receive prompt treatment for existing ones.

For peace of mind, get your home and commercial property tested for Asbestos.

Jim’s Asbestos Removal and Jim’s Hazardous Materials Removal Division has the ability to work with you and licensed Asbestos Assessors (Jim’s Building Inspectors) to provide the required inspection, a management plan, advise on and carry out either safe encapsulation works or removal works.

Call our team on 131 546 to get a free quote today.


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