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    Asbestos walls in homes and health risks

    Safe Environments Pty Ltd

    Asbestos walls are common in houses constructed between the 1950s and the 1980s.

    Used mainly for their fireproofing, heat resistance and moisture resistance properties, asbestos walls were commonly used in bathrooms, laundries, kitchens, external cladding and garages.

    Three asbestos types including chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos) were used to manufacture various products to create asbestos walls.

    Asbestos products include:

    • Asbestos Cement Sheet
    • Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB)
    • Asbestos corrugated wall lining
    • Partition fence in garden
    • Cement or AIB spandrel panels for internal or external asbestos walls
    • External wall cladding on fibro homes
    To determine whether a home has asbestos walls, one can choose to get professional testing done by a NATA accredited asbestos inspector who will collect a sample and test it. Asbestos testing is done using a combination of stereo and polarised light microscopes.

    To avoid breathing in the asbestos fibres, correct sampling techniques for asbestos ceilings must be employed to collect samples including wetting the surface down, using drop sheets, and wearing protective respiratory equipment and disposable overalls.

    Health risks due to asbestos walls

    Asbestos testing will help determine whether the asbestos wall comprises of bonded or friable asbestos. Bonded asbestos walls made of cement sheet and corrugated asbestos are generally quite stable when they are in good condition and are only cause for concern during renovations or major refurbishment. The condition of the material and the use and occupancy of the area may also raise health concerns.

    Safe Environments Pty Ltd  offers a range of asbestos services including asbestos identification, asbestos testing, asbestos inspections and asbestos management for homes.
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