In order to determine if asbestos is present in a given location the materials have to be tested. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibre in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos, or by home renovation using asbestos cement products. More than 25 years after mining operations ceased, the Woodsreef mine continues to leave a legacy of asbestos exposure. Researchers believe that the risk of asbestos exposure extends beyond those employed in the Virginia mine.
Asbestos fibers can be useful because they are strong, resistant to heat and to many chemicals, and do not conduct electricity. Over a long period of time, these chemicals can have a very serious adverse effect on your body in the form of cancer. Many of the miners and residents of Wittenoom suffered severe lung problems, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.
It is not possible to determine whether a material contains asbestos by simply looking at it. The only way to be sure is to get a sample of the material tested by a National Association of Testing Authorities ( NATA ) accredited laboratory but if one is not readily available, there are other laboratories that provide similar testing services. They will provide practical and impartial recommendations on any actions that may be necessary to ensure that you are not put at risk through exposure to deadly asbestos fibres.
People who get lung cancer from asbestos exposure usually get it from work or from living in an older home. Although asbestosis is not a form of cancer, it can become progressive and may require the individual to rely on inhalers. Although not covered by legislation, commissioning an Asbestos Survey is desirable, especially when considering the likely devaluation affect on the future price of the property. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos; however, uses developed before 1989 are still allowed.
A powerful asbestos industry that has consistently cast doubt on the health risks posed by the substance has surely played a role, particularly in countries with significant asbestos industries such as the US, UK, Australia, Italy, Belgium and Canada. Your organisation can ensure that its own working environment is safe with our asbestos management surveys, which involve minor intrusive work and only a small amount of disturbance, depending on the property. All asbestos material must be disposed of at a landfill or waste disposal site licensed by the Department of Environment regulation.
Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complaints