Asbestos as an Air Pollutant

It was only discovered in recent years that asbestos in the air is one of the main causes of mesothelioma and cancer. These harmful illnesses can be caused by asbestos fibers in the lungs and as those fibers cannot be removed, any inhalation of asbestos fibers can be harmful and even lead to death in some cases.

Asbestos was known to be present in certain industrial work sites but it was later realized that even the presence of asbestos in the make-up of construction materials could also be the source of asbestos fibers getting into the lungs. When asbestos is used in construction materials in order to make them stronger, more heat resistant and a better insulator, the asbestos is in a stable state but, when the material which the asbestos has been added to becomes disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibers are released into the air where they can then be readily inhaled.

Once this health hazard regarding asbestos was known, many countries introduced bans on them being used in construction materials again but that was after half the buildings built between the 1800s and 1990 already contained asbestos in their materials and so were a potential health hazard. The ban in Australia began in 2003 which means that probably 50% of the buildings in Australia, built before them, may present a health hazard due to them containing asbestos in their construction materials.

Fortunately today, there are companies that now specialize in testing for the presence of asbestos and the removal of it where necessary. Obviously, having removed any asbestos, these companies are well aware of the safety needed in properly disposing of it so that it does not present a health hazard to anyone else. Although these companies may be employed by individual home owners, wanting to ensure that they do not have their health at risk, much of their work comes from demolition companies.

Since the hazards of asbestos have been discovered, demolition companies can no longer just demolish buildings as they used to as that would cause all the asbestos to be released into the atmosphere where it could be inhaled by anyone. Now these demolition companies have to first enlist the services of an asbestos removal company to run tests to determine if the building for demolition contains any asbestos. If it does, that asbestos has to first be safely removed before any demolition can continue.

There are companies that take care of asbestos removals Sydney and also other companies that do similar jobs all over the country. These companies have become increasingly more busy as householders and owners of business premises alike, want to know if the building they spend a lot of time in, has a potential health hazard due to the presence of asbestos in its construction materials. These concerns though are only for people that own buildings built prior to the ban on asbestos in 2003, as since then, no asbestos has been used in the construction industries.

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