Property owners have many questions about indoor air quality and for a good reason: most Australians will spend most of their time every day inside their living or working space. If breathing the air could make them sick, that is a big deal.
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Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral of metamorphic hydrous magnesium silicate. The term "metamorphic" is used to describe a process of extreme heat and pressure which creates specific secondary patterns of minerals with new chemical and/or physical properties.
Asbestos is highly toxic and was widely used in a large number of building materials including flooring, ceiling tiles, insulation, cements, joint compound and more. It is important, therefore to test for the presence of asbestos before initiating any building repairs or improvements on structures that were built prior to 1980. Not doing so can put you and others in the immediate vicinity at risk for inhaling airborne asbestos fibers during the repair or renovation. Asbestos has causal links to mesothelioma, a type of asbestos cancer.
Generally, you can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos and leave it alone. You may want to have your home inspected for asbestos-containing materials by a trained and accredited asbestos professional. A trained and accredited asbestos professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released.
You should not wait when you believe that fibrous materials might be present within your property. The only way to be sure whether your building contains fibrous materials or not is by getting it inspected by an expert.
Here are some reasons why you need to perform asbestos testing procedure:
1. You own a property built before the 1980s
2. Natural disasters, such as bushfire and storm, happen
3. You believe a material that may be an ACM is damaged