Asbestos, once a widely used building material due to its durability and fire resistance, is now
recognised as a hazardous substance that poses serious health risks to humans. Friable asbestos, in
particular, is especially dangerous as it is more prone to crumbling and releasing harmful fibres into
the air. If you suspect or discover the presence of friable asbestos on your property, it is crucial to
act swiftly and responsibly to safeguard your health and that of your loved ones. In this blog, we will
explore the risks associated with friable asbestos, precautionary measures to take, and the
importance of professional asbestos remediation.
Understanding Friable Asbestos
Friable asbestos refers to asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that are easily crumbled or
pulverised into a powder by hand pressure, posing an immediate health risk. Common examples of
friable asbestos include loose-fill insulation, pipe insulation, and sprayed-on insulation found in older
homes and buildings constructed before the late 1970s. When these materials deteriorate or undergo
disturbance, they release microscopic asbestos fibres into the air, which can be inhaled and cause
severe health problems.
Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to various asbestos-related diseases, including asbestosis,
lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a chronic lung condition that causes scarring, leading
to breathing difficulties. Lung cancer and mesothelioma are aggressive and often fatal cancers
directly linked to asbestos exposure. It is essential to remember that these diseases have a long
latency period, often taking several decades to manifest symptoms, making early detection and
Precautions and Safety Measures
- Avoid Disturbance:If you suspect friable asbestos is present on your property, do not disturb thematerials. Avoid drilling, cutting, sanding, or attempting DIY removal, as this can release fibersinto the air, increasing the risk of exposure.
- Professional Inspection:Engage a certified asbestos inspector to assess your property if you suspect the presence of asbestos. They can conduct thorough testing to identify asbestos-containing materials and provide advice on appropriate actions.
- Occupant Awareness:If friable asbestos is found in your property, inform all occupants, including family members and tenants, about its presence and location. Ensure they understand the risks and are cautious not to disturb the materials.
- Encapsulation:In some cases, encapsulation may be an option. This involves applying a sealant over the asbestos-containing material to prevent fibre release. However, this is not a permanent solution and requires regular monitoring.
- Professional Removal:The most effective and safe approach is to hire licensed asbestos abatement professionals. Trained experts will employ specialised equipment and follow strict procedures to remove and dispose of the asbestos safely, minimising the risk of fibre release.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):If you must enter an area suspected of asbestos presence, use proper PPE, including disposable coveralls, gloves, masks with a HEPA filter, and eye protection.
The presence of friable asbestos on your property demands immediate attention and caution. Asbestos exposure is a serious health risk that should not be underestimated or ignored. By taking proactive steps to identify, manage, and if necessary, remove friable asbestos through professional remediation, you can protect yourself, your family, and others from the potential devastating health consequences. Always remember to rely on certified experts for asbestos inspections and removal to ensure the process is conducted safely and in compliance with all regulations. Prioritising health and safety is the first step towards a healthier living environment for everyone involved.