Before asbestos was regulated, it was the most widely used material in construction across the globe. When the negative health effects of asbestos were made known to the public, many homeowners feared the potential presence of asbestos in their homes.
History of Asbestos in Australian Homes
In the 1980s, Australia’s construction and building industry was considered the highest user per head of population for asbestos consumption all over the world.
The widespread use of asbestos can be attributed to its low cost and durability, which made it popular after World War II in 1954. At the time, around 52% of homes in New South Wales were built using asbestos. Up until the 1960s, 25% of all new housing in Australia was built using asbestos cement, and around 20% of residential roofs had asbestos.
Asbestos was banned in Australia in December 2003. Since then, the usage, selling, import and export of asbestos have been strictly prohibited.
Does Your Home Have Asbestos?
As an initial analysis, this general rule applies to homes in Australia:
– The chances of your home having asbestos are high if your house was built or renovated before the mid-1980s.
– If your home was built or renovated between the mid-1980s and 1990, the presence of asbestos in your home is likely.
– The use of asbestos in Australia declined in 1990 and was totally banned in 2003. If your house was built between and after these years, then it is unlikely that asbestos is in your home.
If the top two conditions apply to your home, there are certain areas of your home that you should be wary of.
The internal wall sheeting has asbestos due to its insulating properties. The asbestos in the internal walls is bonded, meaning that it is compact and completely harmless when left undisturbed. Be mindful of these areas when renovating your house. Drilling and hammering these areas can cause asbestos fibres to fly and be inhaled by workers and homeowners.
Outside the house, asbestos can be found under the eaves. Roof guttering, corrugated sheeting and carports all contain asbestos. The same goes for roofing tiles, shingles, siding and the internal parts of the attic.
Other places of concern include insulation and internal parts of the basement, the caulking and decorative textures of the main living area.
How to Address Asbestos at Home
One cannot detect asbestos by simply looking at a material. The only way to be sure is to enlist the help of any laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities and have a sample tested.
The law allows civilians to remove small amounts of bonded asbestos. But to ensure safety, it is highly recommended to seek out professional services.
EOSH Consulting is a leading expert in asbestos removal and risk management to homes and businesses. The company’s directors have a combined experience of 35 years under their belt, allowing them to undertake any asbestos removal project in Perth regardless of the client’s needs.
Call EOSH Consulting today on 08 9288 1831.