Strong. Flexible. Fire and water resistant. Poor electrical conductivity. These qualities make asbestos one of the most commonly used materials in the construction industry.
From boilers and power stations, to shipyards and residential and commercial establishments, asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACM) can be found in various areas.
For decades, asbestos was mined and widely used in many Australia homes, but that was before its health risks were discovered. Although the presence of asbestos at home may not pose any threat, the danger lies when the ACMs are disturbed. Cracked, broken or damaged ACMs that release fibres into the air that get inhaled may cause serious health conditions, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. This is why you need to identify asbestos in your home immediately, and keep your family safe.
In our previous article, we identified the three areas at home where asbestos may be present, such as roofs, walls and floors. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of locations at home where asbestos or asbestos-containing materials are commonly found. Below are some of them.
Bedrooms and Living Room
ACMs may be found in your bedroom and living room without you even knowing it. Low density ACMs were typically used in wall sheeting, ceiling boards and carpet underlays in bedrooms and living rooms, especially for old houses built before the 1980s. Asbestos can also be used as insulation in wood heaters and fireplaces installed in the living room.
Kitchen or Dining Area
Old kitchen appliances, such as ovens, portable dishwashers, irons, toasters, popcorn poppers and stoves may be insulated with asbestos for fireproofing purposes, and disturbing them may release these hazardous fibres into the air. Asbestos may also be used for insulation on domestic heaters and hot-water pipes.
Garden or Backyard
Gardening planters and pots made of asbestos fibre cement materials are commonly found which can deteriorate over time if unsealed. Old chicken pens and coups were commonly made of asbestos cement sheeting for its cheap construction and durability. Run off from unsealed fibre cement materials may also weather away leaving friable loose asbestos fibres within soil.
Bathroom, Toilet and Laundry Areas
Asbestos may be present in the walls, ceilings and floors of your bathrooms, toilets and laundry room. It has been revealed that asbestos containing materials are frequently found in high concentrations in these locations compared to other areas at home. ACMs may be used for hot water piping and sheeting under floor tiles, as well as cement piping for fresh water supply or sewerage.
These are just some of the many areas at home that contain asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. To prevent accidentally getting exposed to asbestos at home, avoid fixing or repairing these household areas on your own and most importantly, conduct an asbestos testing.
Call in a licensed specialist who can conduct an inspection and provide you with a reliable asbestos management plan to keep you and your family safe.