Asbestos – What you need to know
People hear the word asbestos and they fear it even run the other direction. But, how much do you actually know about the product? With the wide publicity of how it has made thousands sick it is impossible to want your family exposed to it however how unsafe is it? One third of Australian homes contain asbestos products and that is for all types of builds including brick, fibro, weatherboard and clad homes. How do you know if you have asbestos? As a general guide below is the housing timeline as to when they used asbestos primarily.
Highly likely – if your house was built or renovated before the mid-1980s
Likely – If your house was built or renovated between the mid-1980s and 1990
Unlikely – if your house was built after 1990. It was banned totally in 2003.
But when it comes to asbestos how much do you know?
The Facts VRS Fiction:
- Inhaling one asbestos fibre will cause disease – Fiction
- Asbestos fibres can be invisible – Fact
- Asbestos is not longer used – Fiction. Asbestos is still used in new products in many countries this can include pre-fabricated buildings, brake linings / gaskets of quad bikes;
- Effects from asbestos exposure will be immediately felt – Fiction. Asbestos related diseases have a long latency period – they take years to develop;
- Asbestos has been removed from all buildings – Fiction. Asbestos is still widely present in existing materials within buildings in Australia – particularly those built or renovated prior to 1990;
- My building inspection report would have told me if there was any asbestos present – Fiction – it is not mandatory for a building inspector to identify asbestos however you can request it;
- Asbestos cement sheeting that is in good condition presents a very low risk to health – Fact. Asbestos cement sheeting poses no risk as long as it is undisturbed and is not damaged.
As an agent we often see houses with asbestos in them especially on the older Bunbury houses. It was a very common material to use. The most important factor is that it is maintained. You are at no more of a risk of exposure because you live under an asbestos roof as the neighbour. It is very common to treat and paint asbestos roofs. So why deny that stunning late 1990’s build with jarrah floors, high ceilings if it means having to deal with an asbestos roof?
For more myths and facts click here.