The Asbestos Check Team were sent this week to undertake a hazardous building material inspection in Deniliquin to assess occupant risk. Many people are quite concerned when I say that I’m here to inspection for asbestos and hazardous materials. This should not frighten you at all, in fact you should feel safe knowing that people are paying to look after your health and well being. If there are real health concerns relating to asbestos o hazardous materials, the occupational hygienist or asbestos assessor will inform you of this. If the risk is considerable to exposure then the consultant will recommend to restrict the area to minimise the risk. Asbestos Check regularly travels to towns to assist home owners, builders and property managers to identify, assess and control their risk in relation to hazardous materials and asbestos. We travel to areas including Deniliquin, Echuca, Cobram, Jerilderie, Kerang, Swan Hill, Findley, Yarrawonga, Shepparton & Benalla.
In this particular instance, the results were similar to most houses built prior to 1990. Asbestos materials were suspected to include:
- Asbestos eaves lining
- Zelemite electrical backing board
- Vinyl floor sheeting
- Window putty
- Wall and ceiling lining
Most residential houses contain mostly asbestos fibre cement sheet; however these are mainly located in the wet areas such as the toilet, laundry and garage areas. Sometimes it can be found near the sink and the oven area; the areas where there asbestos cement sheeting is usually those areas where there may be an electrical fire, or fire from the oven or stove or a fire in the garage from the car or other items stored in the garage.
All materials suspected of asbestos in this house in Deniliquin was in good condition and posed no health risk unless a contractor inadvertently started cutting through the sheeting with a circular saw or similar. There is negligible risk of asbestos exposure from a broken pieced of asbestos sheeting. Unless there is direct mechanical disturbance, one should not be too concerned about the potential health risks and the material should be sealed and the area wiped down. If there has been significant disturbance by a contractor then it is best to contact our Occupational Hygienist or one of our asbestos assessors.
With all asbestos inspections, one cannot just determine whether a material contains asbestos by looking at; even an experienced occupational hygienist such as myself cannot tell unless I analyse the material under a stereo and polarising microscope. And that’s coming from a materials scientist. In fact it’s probable that I am the only occupational hygienist with a materials science background. I wouldn’t place a bet by looking at it, unlike other building consultants, so why would you!
With Asbestos Check, your health and safety comes first, whilst ensuring that the building remains productive to find an effective solution if asbestos remediation is required. Our asbestos assessors and asbestos inspectors are trained through our rigorous NATA accredited quality system. When choosing someone to look after you and your family’s health or alleviate concerns of workers health ensure they are NATA accredited, not just a person buying into a franchise so they can make money.
Other areas that Asbestos Check service include Deniliquin, Echuca, Cobram, Jerilderie, Kerang, Swan Hill, Findley, Yarrawonga & Shepparton & Benalla and our services, also include asbestos air monitoring, asbestos inspections, asbestos awareness training and management plans.
If we can’t get to your property to undertake an inspection, you can always send a sample of the suspected asbestos material so that we can undertake asbestos testing to the Australian Standard AS 4964.
Author: Carl Strautins
Carl Strautins is a managing director of Safe Environments Pty Ltd a multi-specialist consultancy operating in the building, construction and property management industries. He provides the necessary guidance and risk minimisation strategies required by architects, construction companies and facility managers to ensure they mitigated their risk to property risk. He is engaged on a regular basis to provide expert opinion for disputes and legal proceedings. Click here to know more about him.