Learn About Asbestos Removal and Licensing in New South Wales
What is Asbestos?
Six of these fibrous minerals which occur naturally like Chrysotile, Crocidolite, Amosite, Anthophyllite, Tremolite, and Actinolite are known as Asbestos.
Amosite/ brown asbestos
Prolonged exposure to amosite or also known as brown asbestos has shown a higher risk of cancer in comparison with other types of asbestos. Prolonged exposure can cause deadly diseases such as respiratory diseases, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. They offer good tensile strength and heat resistance and hence are used to make commercial products like:
- Cement sheets
- Fire protection
- Roofing products
- Insulations like chemical, thermal, plumbing, and electrical insulation.
Chrysotile/ white asbestos
Chrysotile or also referred as white asbestos and are one of the most widely used asbestos in many countries. Many studies have shown that they cause respiratory diseases like mesothelioma. These are usually finer with high flexibility and good heat resistance. These are used to make:
- Brake pads
- Joint compound
- Roofing materials
These are extremely rare and can appear in multiple forms like dense and compact or brittle and fibrous and are white, gray or dark brown. Like all other asbestos, these are known to cause mesothelioma cancer. These are used to make:
- Effective lightweight insulation material
- Concrete materials
- Structural fire proofing.
Tremolite asbestos come under amphibole category of asbestos fiber. These can cause diseases like mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers. They are strong, flexible, heat resistant, and can be spun and woven into cloth. Some common examples are
- Roofing and plumbing materials.
Crocidolite/ blue asbestos
These are categorized as amphibole and it is one of the most lethal asbestos as these are harder and brittle than the rest. therefore when they break, they release fibers that are dangerous on inhalation. Once inside the body, these fibers do not break down easily and hence leads to potentially life-threatening lung and abdominal diseases. Although these are less heat resistant than the other asbestos, these are used to make:
- Ceiling tiles
- Water encasement
- Acid storage battery castings
- Electrical or telecommunication wires
These have long and flexible fibers and are is not used in much consumer products due to its rarity. These are mostly found in talc mines and are known to cause mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases. These are used to make cement products and insulation materials. They are also used to make talc-related products like talcum powder.
These are any material which contains more than one percent asbestos and with the pressure of an average human hand can be pulverized or reduced to powder.
These are any material that contains more than one percent asbestos but unlike friable asbestos, cannot be pulverized under hand pressure.
Asbestos Health Dangers
Even the Australian government creates awareness on asbestos as a known carcinogen which is known to cause a number of respiratory diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural and lung cancers. These are so dangerous to health that even limited or short-term exposure to asbestos has shown indications of diseases. Some industries are more at risk than others. For example, tradespersons in the asbestos removal industry deal with asbestos everyday. Mr Jack Newman from Pro Asbestos Removal Sydney stated “our workers are in the high risk category for asbestos exposure so we take special care in regards to safety. We always wear safety gear and respiratory masks whenever we enter a property containing asbestos”.
There are two types of licenses for asbestos removal known as Class A and Class B, as well as a license to be an asbestos assessor. Visit this the Safework website to know more about the eligibility criteria for applying.
Class A asbestos licence
This license gives you the permit to remove friable asbestos, nonfriable asbestos and any asbestos contaminated with dust or debris (ACD).
Class b asbestos licence
This license gives you the permit to remove 10 square meters or more of nonfriable asbestos, like fiber sheets. You are only allowed to remove the asbestos contaminated with dust or debris (ACD) that is directly associated with the removal of nonfriable asbestos.
How to hire a reliable asbestos removalist?
It is best to hire licensed asbestos removalist as they have the right knowledge and skills to get all your asbestos removed.
Asbestos comes with several potential dangers which are why it is advisable to keep yourself away from it. And if you need to remove asbestos, get a well-licensed asbestos removalist. Be smart, stay safe.