The Risks of Removing Asbestos on Your Own

A picture of asbestos

Across the globe, there are laws and regulations for the proper removal and disposal of asbestos from buildings. In Australia, the law allows homeowners, in limited conditions, to remove asbestos from their homes without professional help.

A provision in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations explains that removal of asbestos can be carried out by an untrained person if the process involves removing non-friable asbestos in a project that will take seven days or less, and if the activity is within a working area of less than 10 square metres. Under the same conditions, the Australian government allows self-employed civilians to administer asbestos removal as well.

While asbestos poses a minimal risk if the area is enclosed and well managed, the government strongly discourages the removal and disposal of asbestos without the help of a licensed specialist. These people are trained in meticulous, step by step processes that are strictly followed to avoid fibres and particles from entering the atmosphere and creating a risk to public health.

The Risks of Mesothelioma

One of the most common threats from inhaling asbestos fibres is mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that forms in the linings of the heart and other internal organs. Over time, the affected areas weaken due to the toxicity of the asbestos and the victim dies.

Unfortunately, Australia has one of the highest number of mesothelioma victims across the globe ? despite Australia enforcing a total ban on the import and use of asbestos. In 2016, cases of mesothelioma in Australia peaked, with DIY asbestos removal identified as one of the major causes.

Exposure to the toxic asbestos fibres may also cause lung cancer. When inhaled, the asbestos fibres sometimes lodge within the lungs and cause cells to mutate, multiply and behave abnormally. In addition, ongoing scientific studies are trying to understand if asbestos fibres alter human DNA.

Who Is at Risk of Exposure?

Asbestos was commonly used in the construction industry for its insulation and fireproof properties. It was banned in 2003, but because of its widespread use in construction and heavy industry from post-war to 1990, demolition and renovation of buildings built during that time pose big health-related risks to unprotected workers.

If your home or office was built before 2003 and will be undergoing renovations where asbestos could be disturbed and scatter in the environment, call a health and safety specialist to ensure the work area does not be put people at risk.

Licensed Asbestos Removal Specialists in Australia

EOSH Consulting is a leading specialist in integrated asbestos risk management solutions and asbestos removal and disposal in Perth. Our two directors have a combined experience of 35 years in the industry working with the most challenging asbestos management and removal projects across the globe.

The members of our removal team are all licensed and qualified to deal with any situation where asbestos poses a threat to human health. We offer comprehensive, integrated and expert solutions to any establishment.

Call us today on 08 9288 1831 for expert asbestos removal in services.