By Samuel Smith
Published: Friday, February 19, 2021
As far back as 2400 BC, humans were drawn to asbestos – a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate materials – for its strength, fire, chemical and corrosion resistance.
Now banned, asbestos was used frequently in the Australian construction industry throughout the 20th century, but tragically, turned out to be a silent killer.
Asbestos fibres are invisible to the naked eye and can be inhaled into the lungs, causing an aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma.
More than 10,000 Australians have now died from the disease, with the number climbing each year.
If your house was built or renovated between 1945 and 1990, it could contain asbestos.
Asbestos sheeting or cement could have been used in fencing, insulation, wall and ceiling cladding, backing for tiles, electrical meter boards and carpet underlay.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell if a product contains asbestos just by looking at it – only scientific testing can give you an answer.
Due to the risk of exposure during removal, we recommend that you don’t try to remove asbestos yourself.
Left alone, asbestos is usually harmless, but it’s best to call in an RAA Trade Assist expert who’ll be able to test your home and let you know for certain whether it contains asbestos. If it does, they can organise safe removal.