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Asbestos Threat is Everywhere
The threat of asbestos-containing material (ACM) seems like almost everywhere. From commercial premises to a public infrastructure, most are infected by the presence of this dangerous substance.
An ACM was found at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Two different blocks of the facility were installed with materials containing dangerous fibres. Apparently, a sub-contractor violated the protocol of asbestos there. The workers were believed to have been exposed to the fibrous material. It was due to improper procedures regarding the removal of asbestos in the hospital’s older building.
Another finding of this hazardous material was on a science kit. The students at a primary school in Launceston were examining kits bought by the school. The toxic material contained in the kit was leucotile or also known as chrysotile, the white fibrous material. It was about the size of a thumbnail rock sample, nearly like a pebble. Parents were shocked to know that some students examining mineral containing dangerous fibres.
Raise Your Awareness
With the increasing incidence of ACM findings, everyone should be alert to the possible dangers of fibrous materials in working places or residential buildings. Having the knowledge concerning fibrous material will help in case an incident happens.
In Australia, the ACM was extensively used in construction and other industries in between 1946 and 1980. It was a name given to a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals including:
Asbestos Removal Launceston: Identifying, Removal and Solution
It has been known for a quite a long time that due to its tensile strength, flexibility, chemical inertness, insulation from heat and electricity and affordability, the ACM was believed to be one of the most versatile minerals.
All those reasons are enough to attract many industries to use it. There are more than 3,000 applications worldwide. In the world, Australia was one of the highest users of fibrous materials per capita till the mid-1980s. The massive use of this substance left a great legacy of hazardous materials in various buildings.
Where Can ACMs Possibly Be Identified?
ACM is categorised as friable and non-friable. Friable is a material containing harmful fibres that can be crushed, pulverised, or reduced to a powder by a pressure of a hand. When it is disturbed, it can get airborne and generate a health risk through inhalation. Non-friable is a mixed of cement and a small amount of ACM, around 10-15%. This latest type most commonly found in the construction industry.
Both types could pose a serious health risk to the environment if they are not appropriately managed or safely removed. The risks are caused by a contact with airborne fibres. Airborne fibres can be produced by:
- Weathering process
- Constructing and/or managing work involving fibrous material
- Demolition and/or removal of material containing harmful fibres
- Unsafe disposal of fibrous materials
- Land contaminated by hazardous fibres.
ACM products that were commonly used in the residential building was non-friable asbestos cement (AC) materials, including:
- Exterior and interior wall cladding
- Water or flue pipes
- Thermal boards around fireplaces
For friable products that could be found in domestic buildings, including:
- Backing material on floor tiles and vinyl flooring
- Textured paints, decorative ceilings coating
- Spray-on insulation or soundproofing
- Rope door gaskets in wood stoves
- Carpet underlay
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Hail or fire damaged, or badly weathered AC materials
- Brick and plaster sealants, fillers and adhesive products
FIY: AC materials can get friable when they are badly damaged, weathered or deteriorated.
The Ban of All Kinds of Fibrous Products
By the late 1980s, the use of ACMs in building materials was prohibited in most Australian states and territories. The national ban on all uses of chrysotile type was started to be applied on December 31, 2003. The ban also included the import and export of all products containing ACMs.
Numbers of fibrous products used in the past still exist in today’s buildings regardless of the bans on mining and industrial use. The products are commonly found in many residential, government and commercial buildings. Even worst, recent buildings built after the 1990s are also possible to be installed with illegal fibrous products imported from China like the hospital in Perth. Thus, it is important to check the presence of any product containing hazardous fibres in every premise.
Identifying ACMs in a Building
The method for identifying any hazardous substance within a building is either by an inspection or survey. The survey will involve a visual inspection. The activity also includes a sampling. The collected samples are then sent to a lab. For a valid result of the inspection or survey, it is recommended to hire a license-holder assessor. Since it is a meticulous work, only a person who has attended trainings can locate the areas that suspected of being installed with products containing harmful fibres.
Following the inspection or a survey is testing. For an accurate result, the testing of the samples is recommended to be analysed in a NATA accredited laboratory. An ACM register will be provided as the result of the test. It is a report that documents all identified or suspected fibrous products in premises.
Solutions for your ACM Problems
Repair and removal are available methods for handling problems with products containing dangerous fibres. For a minor damage of the ACM, repair, such as sealing or painting is the applicable method. However, repair is only a momentary solution. In the end, the material needs to be removed when it’s slowly become badly damaged.
Removal is needed for a more serious damaged product. If safety is your priority, you should hire a professional removalist for this work although DIY is allowed. When you plan DIY for asbestos removal, make sure you are familiar with the procedure of removal to minimise the risk of exposure. It is necessary for you to prepare protective kits as well before starting the project. The kits need to be readily available including:
- Plastic sheet
- Sealed plastic bags
- P2 face mask
- Duct tape
Asbestos Removal Launceston Services
If the damage is too serious that no repair method is applicable then asbestos removal is the only possible solution that strongly recommended. If you are confused in choosing the best professional for the project, then Asbestos Watch Launceston is your answer. We can help you find a qualified contractor for various jobs related to products containing deadly fibres.
You can use our endorsed contractors for asbestos removal Launceston services. Whether you need removal or testing, the contractors we endorsed have the excellent skill to perform such services because they have the expertise and years of experiences. They are fully A-class licensed and certified to handle the project. We can ensure you that they will perform the services in compliance with the local and national regulations.
Our member contractors have four core services for asbestos, including:
Our endorsed contractors offer competitive prices for the services they offered. The cost you have to pay will be worth the excellent services you will get. To help you manage the budget for your asbestos removal Launceston project, you can ask three quotes from our member contractors for free.
Don’t think too much. Act now! Dial the number and let our member sort out your problem.