One of the hidden dangers that people deal with in construction is asbestos. Whether you’re doing demolition in Sydney or just doing some renovation, it may disturb asbestos deposits. Australia officially banned asbestos back in 2003 because of the health risks.
However, the material was a very popular building material before the dangers of its use became obvious. Most of the time, they are safe enough to leave alone, however, demolition in Sydney can disturb these deposits and endanger your workers and yourself. Here’s a brief primer on the dangers of asbestos and on how you can properly deal with it.
The Health Risks
The main trouble with asbestos is in inhaling it. When you do demolition in Sydney, you’ll be breaking apart walls and more. This will release the asbestos particles in the air. This can also happen when you perform an excavation in Sydney, especially when near a basement.
How dangerous is asbestos? There is several health risks associated with the material. It is such a persistent killer that over 5000 people die each year due to asbestos-related diseases. The damage may not be noticeable at first, but when the diagnosis comes in, it is often too late for any action to be done.
The biggest threat is mesothelioma. It is a sort of cancer that affects the lining of your lungs and even the upper part of your digestive tract. People diagnosed with this condition have very low chances of survival.
Second, even if you do not develop cancer, your lungs will be scarred by the asbestos fibers that you inhaled. This damage can cause difficulty in breathing and can result in your eventual death. Another problem is pleural thickening. This is when your lungs swell in response to asbestos exposure. This makes it very difficult to breathe and will affect your life for years to come.
Wearing protective gear is not enough. Professional asbestos treatment is the only way to protect yourself from all the dangers faced by you and your workers from the material. Fortunately, there are several companies in the Sydney area that would be willing to deal with your asbestos problem.
Your main job is to identify whether asbestos is present first. The material was available in both non-friable and friable forms. Most homes used non-friable asbestos and this was used in cement sheets, floor tiles, and even pipes. For much of the 60s and the 70s, asbestos was considered a wonder material. If a building you are working on is from that era, it would be best to have a professional check everything over for asbestos to ensure maximum safety.