What is Asbestos?
The most common mineral types are white (chrysotile), blue (crocidolite) or brown (amosite). Asbestos can be found naturally in the earth in some parts of Australia. For example, in Australia blue asbestos deposits were mined at Wittenoom, W.A. and white asbestos at Woodsreef, N.S.W.
Asbestos fibres do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. Small fibres and fibre-containing particles may remain suspended in the air for a long time and can be carried long distances by wind or water currents before settling. This means buildings containing a large amount of for example sprayed asbestos, even after removal works may still contain dangerous amounts of asbestos carried by internal air movement in cavities and inaccessible areas (The Mr. Fluffy homes in the ACT and NSW are good examples of this).
Diseases recognised as caused by asbestos include lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and pleural plaques. All are as a result of inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibres. Other diseases and cancers are also suspected to be caused by or linked to asbestos however further research is required to prove a direct link. There are also causative links so if you are exposed say to cigarette smoke or other cancer causing agents this may increase the likelihood of getting an asbestos related cancer.
Asbestos is the name applied to a group of six different fibrous minerals (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and the fibrous varieties of tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite) that occur naturally in the environment. Non asbestos (non fibrous) forms of tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite also are found naturally.
The most common mineral types are white (chrysotile), blue (crocidolite) or brown (amosite). Asbestos can be found naturally in soil and rocks in some areas for example in Australia blue asbestos was found and mined at Wittenoom W.A. and white asbestos at Woodsreef N.S.W.
Asbestos fibres are resistant to heat and most chemicals and have a great deal of tensile strength. Because of these properties, asbestos fibres have been mined for use in a wide range of man-made products, mostly in building materials, friction products, and heat-resistant materials.
Therefore asbestos containing materials can be found almost anywhere. Asbestos fibres do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. Small fibres and fibre-containing particles may remain suspended in the air for a long time and be carried long distances by wind or water currents before settling. Therefore a building which has had a large amount of asbestos in it and had removal carried out may still contain dangerous amounts of asbestos carried by internal air movement.
In indoor air, the concentration of asbestos depends on whether asbestos was used for insulation, ceiling or wall linings, or other purposes, and whether these asbestos-containing materials are in good condition or are deteriorated and easily crumbled (known as its friability)
Asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural plaques and lung cancer are the recognised diseases caused by asbestos and are all as a result of inhalation of asbestos fibres. Other diseases and cancers may also be caused or linked to asbestos but still require further investigation.
Proprietor, Brian Sketcher is a sought-after speaker and author, well-recognised for his work in identifying asbestos. For residential owners Brian’s book can help you identify asbestos in your own home.
The second in our series of books by Brian Sketcher is a handy guide for those in the electrical trade.
We also stock slide packs, warning labels and signs.
Servicing Queensland, NSW, Victoria and beyond
We are located conveniently midway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Our team conducts audits throughout Australia.
Call us on (07) 5549 2250 or 0407 756 440,
or you can email us for a quote on your building today!