10 Minutes That Will Change Your Attitude To Asbestos For Ever

10 Minutes That Will Change Your Attitude To Asbestos For Ever

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral fibre mined and imported to Australia that was popular due to its strength, flexibility, light weight, and affordability. However once asbestos is broken, sharp fibres can be released into the air. These fibres can be inhaled causing chronic respiratory issues only revealing themselves decades after inhalation. Because of this asbestos was completely banned within Australia in 2003 with bans starting to take place in the mid-1980’s.

 

There are six different types of asbestos:

  • Tremolite Asbestos
  • Actinolite Asbestos
  • Anthophyllite Asbestos
  • Chrysotile Asbestos
  • Amosite Asbestos
  • Crocidolite Asbestos (Blue Asbestos)

The most common of these being Chrysotile asbestos, Amosite asbestos and Crocidolite asbestos. These types of asbestos can then be sorted into two categories:

Friable: Friable asbestos is easily crumbled and broken, this type of asbestos is considered more dangerous as it very easily becomes airborne and can be inhaled.

Non-friable: Non-friable asbestos is hardier and harder to break making it less dangerous to remove, however non-friable asbestos can still be inhaled when damaged or broken.

The most dangerous of these is friable blue asbestos or Crocidolite asbestos, when broken blue asbestos forms small brittle, needle like clusters that can easily be inhaled. When inhaled they can damage the lungs causing cuts and abrasions which over time scar. Some asbestos related diseases include (But are not limited to):

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural thickening
  • Pleural effusion

All of which are chronic, progressive and incurable.

 

Where do you find Asbestos?

Asbestos can be found in nearly every structure built before the mid-1980’s, asbestos was popular in many different types of construction some of these include:

  • Piping (Water and Sewage)
  • Roofing
  • Insulation
  • Walling
  • Flooring
  • Some adhesives
  • Concreting
  • Tiling

If the structure was built after 2003 (After the complete ban of asbestos removal Melbourne in Australia) then it is unlikely to contain asbestos, however if you still have concerns asbestos testing Melbourne can ensure that no asbestos is within the structure.

 

True Stories

Glenda Gauci did not work with asbestos, her father did, he unloaded raw asbestos from the docks of Melbourne for 3 decades. He would come home covered in the dust from head to toe and hug his beautiful daughter not realizing the danger. When she was 45 in 2004 she was diagnosed with lung cancer then mesothelioma.

Glenda passed away in 20 Liborio Napolitano was 21 when he began working  at Wittenoom asbestos mine, he only released the health hazards decades later when his workmates began to die off one by one from asbestos related diseases. Liborio passed away from  mesothelioma in 1994.06 she was 47 years old.

To read more stories about asbestos related illness visit:

http://www.hiddenkiller.ca/real-life-stories.asp

https://www.australianasbestosnetwork.org.au/about/

 

Wittenoom a Town of Dust

 

Wittenoom, located in Western Australia, is one of the most well known Australian Asbestos mines and mills. Many stories have come from the people who used to work and live in the small once bustling but now ghost town. The asbestos mine which mined Crocidolite asbestos started work in 1943 and the town had a population close to 500, the town was shut down in 1966 due to unprofitability and growing health concerns from asbestos mining in the area, the dust was so much that breathing problems could be seen within 6 months in some cases instead of the decades mild exposure presented. Wittenoom was officially removed from the Western Australian maps in 2007 and legislation was introduced to forcibly remove the last three residents in 2015

 

Further Reading:

http://www.asbestosdiseases.org.au/the-wittenoom-tragedy.html

http://www.asbestos.vic.gov.au/about-asbestos/health-facts