- Get a professional to take samples and check for asbestos if your home was built before 1980.
- It can be found in tiles, shingles and insulation.
- Avoid disturbing asbestos.
- Instead of repairing it, remove and replace asbestos as a long-term solution.
- Inhaling asbestos can lead to lung disease or cancer.
Asbestos is a material made up of microscopic fibres which can be damaging to lungs when they are breathed in. Before these health risks were known, many older buildings were constructed using asbestos. All new homeowners should have this checked and removed by a professional if necessary.
So what does asbestos look like, and where do you find it? Read on for how to identify asbestos, and why it’s so dangerous.
How to dispose of asbestos: Tips to getting rid of asbestos safely
If you’re wondering how to get rid of asbestos, play close attention to these serious dos and don’ts.
- DON’T disturb the asbestos. If the material is in good condition, it may not be dangerous; but disturbing it could break up the fibres.
- DO contact a professional, who will know how to get rid of asbestos safely and fully – with the right equipment and safety gear.
- DON’T try and remove it yourself. Any exposure to asbestos can be seriously harmful to your health, and this risk will be increased if you disturb the fibres.
- DO make sure that a professional confirms that the asbestos is completely removed. Any asbestos presence in the home can be a serious health risk.
Why is asbestos dangerous? 3 ways asbestos can be harmful to you and your family
Once it’s inhaled, exposure to asbestos cannot be treated. The asbestos fibres you may breathe in cannot be seen, smelled or tasted – but over time, they can cause serious harm. Here are 3 health issues caused by exposure to asbestos:
- Asbestosis: This is a respiratory disease, which although it is non-cancerous will aggravate lung tissue, cause shortness of breath and a crackling sound when you breathe in. In later stages it can lead to heart attacks. It cannot be treated effectively and is more often than not fatal.
- Lung cancer: This is the biggest cause of asbestos exposure related deaths. Common symptoms include coughing, anaemia, chest pain and shortness of breath. You have an increased risk to this if you are also a smoker.
- Mesotheliom: This is rarer. It is a cancer which occurs in the membrane lining of your lungs, chest, abdomen and occasionally heart.
With advice on how to spot asbestos, and how to dispose of asbestos safely, you can avoid the adverse health effects it can cause. If you’re a new homeowner, or have just moved to a new pad, check out our advice for cleaning your new home and getting yourself settled in.