When asbestos cement is left undisturbed, risks to health are extremely low as the fibres are bound in the cement. Dangers do exist in using power tools for cutting, drilling, grinding, sanding, and sawing, the use of high pressure water guns and unnecessary breaking or crushing that produce a large number of fibres that when inhaled can cause disease including asbestosis, pleural plaque, lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Individual fibers are generally not visible to the naked eye and must be small enough to overcome the body’s natural defence mechanisms and penetrate into the small air passages of the lungs.
Given the serious health problems this material can cause it is important that it is handled properly. It is recommended that a professional be employed to remove or handle asbestos however people can handle the material themselves as long as they take the required precautions.
For further information regarding asbestos in the home visit the Department of Health’s website.
For further information:
- Asbestos – Who Do You Call (106KB)
- Asbestos Cement Products in Your Home (246KB)
- Asbestos – A guide for Householders and the General Public (3MB)
If you believe that asbestos is not being handled correctly, please contact the Shire’s Health Services.