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An individual’s chance of developing an asbestos related condition depends on how much asbestos a person has been exposed to and for how long.

People who are at a higher risk of developing asbestos related health diseases are those working in the following industries:

  • Mining and manufacturing of asbestos;
  • Shipbuilding and railway carriage production;
  • Office and industrial construction; and
  • Power industries

Although the majority of asbestos fibres that enter the body may be removed from the lungs by the body’s natural defences (e.g. coughing), there are asbestos fibres that embed themselves inside the lung tissue and become difficult to eliminate. When these fibres accumulate, they could irritate the lung tissues causing serious health problems.

Four of the most common health problems associated with asbestos exposure are the following:

1. Malignant Mesothelioma

A cancer of the pleura (outer lung lining) or the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare disease that develops quickly and spreads widely before symptoms appear. Thus, early diagnosis is difficult. On average, the survival time of a patient diagnosed with this form of cancer may be only 6 to 18 months.

Mesothelioma may take 20 to 50 years to appear after being exposed to asbestos fibres. However, studies revealed that only a small percentage of people exposed develop this form of cancer.

To help prevent and reduce asbestos related health risks, contact Asbestos Check today. We provide an effective asbestos management plan to ensure that the dangers of exposure are eliminated or reduced to a negligible risk.

2. Asbestosis

This is a chronic lung disease where the airways become inflamed and scarred. This scarring of the lung tissues can block the passage of oxygen into the blood, cause the lungs to become inelastic and stiff, and make breathing difficult. Symptoms of asbestosis include: dry cough, tightness of the chest and (in severe cases) a bluish tinge to the skin due to lack of oxygen. The onset of asbestosis can also lead to respiratory impairment or to more serious conditions like lung cancer.

Asbestosis usually takes a decade or more to develop.

If you are concerned about being exposed to airborne asbestos fibres, call us now. We can drop by your house or workplace and conduct asbestos testing to analyse and identify asbestos containing materials (ACM) in your area.

3. Lung Cancer

A type of cancer that is common among the public and is frequently associated with asbestos exposure. After being exposed to asbestos fibres, it may typically take 10 to 20 years for lung cancer to develop.

People who are exposed to large amounts of asbestos fibres over a long period of time have a higher risk of developing lung cancer. The risk is also around 10 times greater in people who smoke. The tumour, when not treated at the onset, could spread through the lungs and to other parts of the body.

4. Pleural Disorder

This type of disease is caused by the irritation and the inflammation of the outer lining of the lung known as the pleura. Asbestos can cause pleura plaques (thickened patches on the pleura) and pleural effusions (fluid in the chest cavity), both of which restrict breathing and reduce lung capacity.

If you need a validated risk assessment, look no further. At Asbestos Check, we help you identify, assess and control asbestos risks.

We can assist in providing you information about suspected ACM samples for your safety. Our qualified asbestos consultants can conduct a thorough asbestos inspection of your home or office to identify possible sources.

Our inspection services are backed by our National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited chemical laboratory to provide test results in a timely manner. Our NATA accreditation also includes the identification and management of asbestos and other hazardous building materials, such as Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyl’s (PCBs), Synthetic Mineral Fibres (SMF), Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and lead paint.

For more information on the range of services we offer, consult our occupational hygienists or asbestos assessors in Sydney and Melbourne through our contact page.

We look forward to helping you have an asbestos-free office or home.

Author: Stuart Lumsden

Stuart Lumsden


A Bachelor of Forensic Science in Applied Chemistry from the University of Technology, Sydney, Stuart is a Property Risk Assessor who specialises in the area of Asbestos and Hazardous Materials.