If you are undergoing renovations in your home it is important to have your fibro (villa board, plaster board) tested for asbestos. Australia had one of the world’s highest percentage of usage rates when it came to asbestos materials up until the mid-1980’s.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the name used for a group of naturally occurring minerals. They have resistance to high temperatures and fire and make effective insulators, making it popular in building products in Australia from the 1940s to 1987. Stats show that one in every three Australia houses contain some form of asbestos.
Unfortunately, asbestos is a deadly toxin that cannot be swept under the rug or disposed of in a regular skip. There are extensive and detailed regulations concerning its safe removal and destruction.
What are the risks of Asbestos?
Extensive exposure to asbestos fibres in the air can lead to serious health complications and even death. The fibres can lodge themselves in the lungs leading to conditions such as fibrosis and mesothelioma. The risks associated with asbestos are tied to the weathering of materials which contain asbestos. These can include:
- Flat and corrugated sheeting
- Cement Pipes
- Floor Tiles
- Automobile parts such as brake pads
- Textured paints
Any interaction that may cause the fibres to become airborne is a risk. Where the asbestos is solidly embedded into an object that is yet to be obstructed and in good condition it is inactive and poses no risk to the human body or environment.
If your property was built or renovated before the 1990’s, there is a high chance it may contain at least one asbestos based material. If you are unsure and about to start renovating, it is best to get your fibro tested beforehand. This can be done by providing an approved asbestos testing facility with samples of your building materials.
What if I find asbestos? How do I dispose of it?
Due to the toxicity and high risk of asbestos there are specific guidelines in relation to the removal and proper disposal of asbestos. Across Australia there are licensed asbestos removalists that are trained in the safe and efficient removal of such materials. It is important to remember that materials containing asbestos cannot be thrown into a regular skip bin. Improper treatment or disposal of this waste poses a risk to the environment, community and skip bin truck driver, resulting in harsh penalties.
What do I do after the asbestos has been removed?
For all other waste types on your property during a renovation/construction project you can order a skip bin.