Why is asbestos dangerous? - NSW Asbestos Removal Sydney

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Asbestos is a term you will have come across if you've lived in or worked around older buildings. It’s essential for everyone, especially adults, to understand the risks associated with asbestos. Let's delve into the reasons why asbestos is hazardous for health.

Understanding Asbestos

Firstly, what exactly is asbestos? It's a mineral found in nature, made of thin, durable fibres. Due to its strength and resistance to heat and chemicals, it was once a popular choice in construction and other industries. Older homes, offices, and even some products might contain asbestos.

The Historical Value of Asbestos

Several decades ago, asbestos was dubbed the "magic mineral." It was widely used in construction for insulating homes, fireproofing, and more. Its ability to resist heat and prevent fires made it seem like a great choice. If you think about older buildings or houses you might have been in, they could have asbestos in floor tiles, insulation, or ceiling materials.

The Hidden Dangers of Asbestos

However, over time, researchers discovered that when asbestos-containing materials get damaged, they release tiny fibres into the air. These fibres, when breathed in, pose serious health risks. These particles are so small that you can't see them, but they can get lodged in the lungs, leading to long-term health issues.

How Asbestos Affects Health

Let's dive a bit deeper into these health concerns. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause a range of severe diseases:

  • Asbestosis: It's a chronic respiratory disease. If you imagine your lungs as sponges that help you breathe, over time, asbestos turns them more into a hard, scarred tissue that doesn't work well.
  • Lung Cancer: Similar to the risks posed by heavy smoking, asbestos can lead to lung cancer, especially if one has been exposed to it for long periods. The combination of smoking and asbestos exposure amplifies the risk significantly.
  • Mesothelioma: A rare form of cancer that affects the thin lining of the body's internal organs, particularly the lungs. It’s closely linked to asbestos exposure.

Worryingly, these health issues may not appear until many years after a person has been exposed to asbestos.

Where Might You Encounter Asbestos?

If you're thinking about where you might come across asbestos, consider older buildings or homes, especially those built before the 1980s. Asbestos might be in insulation, ceiling tiles, roof shingles, or pipe insulation. It's also found in some car brakes and clutches.

Staying Safe from Asbestos

Protection is paramount. If you suspect there's asbestos in your home or workplace, it's crucial not to disturb it. Asbestos is most dangerous when it's damaged or disturbed, releasing those harmful fibers into the air.

If you're considering renovating or if you notice damaged materials that might contain asbestos, seek professional advice. There are experts trained in safely managing and removing asbestos. They have the necessary equipment and knowledge to handle it without posing a risk to health.

Current Regulations on Asbestos

Given its health risks, many countries have now imposed strict regulations on the use of asbestos. Its use has been banned in numerous products, and there are guidelines on how to safely handle and dispose of materials containing asbestos.


While asbestos was once deemed a revolutionary material in construction and other industries, its health implications have since positioned it as a considerable concern. For adults, especially those living in older homes or working in older buildings, understanding the dangers of asbestos is essential. If you're ever in doubt, always consult with professionals, prioritize safety, and ensure the well-being of both yourself and those around you.

Knowledge is power. Being aware of the risks associated with asbestos and taking the necessary precautions can make a significant difference in ensuring a healthy living and working environment.

Call 0407 050 694 today for an obligation free discussion about how we can help you with your asbestos problems or asbestos removal.