Health Risks of Airborne Asbestos

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Somah Thong

Asbestos Removal Specialist

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Did you know about the tiny fibres in some building materials that could harm your health? In Australia, asbestos was widely used in the past. Yet, many people don’t fully understand the severe health risks it brings.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral valued for its strength and resistance to heat. It was a popular choice for many construction materials. But, if these asbestos-containing materials get disturbed, dangerous fibres can be released into the air. Breathing in these fibres can cause serious diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

One of the scariest things about asbestos is how long it takes for symptoms to show, often many years. We want to teach Australian families about the dangers of asbestos in the air. We’ll also show you how to keep your home safe.

Key Takeaways

  • Asbestos is a durable, heat-resistant mineral once widespread in building materials.
  • Disturbing asbestos-containing materials releases hazardous airborne fibres.
  • Asbestos-related diseases include asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
  • There can be a lengthy latency period between asbestos exposure and symptom onset.
  • Awareness and proper management of asbestos are vital for Australian households.

Understanding Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure risk is a major worry, mainly because it was often used in Aussie construction until the mid-1980s. Many buildings in Australia may still have asbestos, posing a health risk.

Asbestos exposure risk

Common Sources of Asbestos

Asbestos was common in products like insulation, roofing shingles, cement sheets, and floor tiles in Australia. Even though it was banned in 2003, old houses and buildings may still have it. It’s often found in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. Knowing these common sources helps reduce exposure.

How Asbestos Becomes Airborne

When asbestos materials become airborne, the danger increases. This usually happens during renovations or demolitions or when these materials get old and worn out. Apart from household uses, asbestos can be in vehicle parts, old appliances, and guttering. It’s important to know how asbestos can become airborne to protect people’s health.

The Health Effects of Asbestos Exposure

The impact of asbestos inhalation is massive, touching many Australians. These people were exposed to this dangerous material. When breathed in, asbestos can stick inside the lungs forever.

Asbestos inhalation consequences

This can cause serious respiratory diseases. For example, mesothelioma is a rare, yet harsh cancer. It harms the lung and abdomen linings. The irritation and scarring from asbestos take years to show symptoms, often decades later.

Being around asbestos for a long time also raises the chance of getting lung cancer. This is especially true for workers who encountered asbestos poisoning at work. Another disease, called asbestosis, brings a lot of health problems. It scars the lung tissue. This scarring can weaken the lungs and make other lung diseases more likely.

It’s key to spot these symptoms early. Since symptoms of asbestos-related issues can look like minor diseases, staying informed is crucial. Regular doctor visits are important for catching and treating these conditions soon.

DiseaseDescriptionCommon Symptoms
MesotheliomaAggressive cancer affecting lung and abdomen liningsChest pain, shortness of breath
Lung CancerCancer with high prevalence among asbestos-exposed workersCoughing, weight loss
AsbestosisChronic lung disease caused by scarring of lung tissueBreathlessness, persistent cough

Understanding how asbestos inhalation consequences lead to serious diseases is vital. By taking preventive steps, we can protect our health and community.

Asbestos in the Air: Health Risks

Asbestos exposure is a big health issue, especially because it’s linked with serious lung diseases. Knowing the health risks helps us prevent and manage them better.


Mesothelioma is an uncommon, aggressive cancer. It hits the mesothelium of the lungs and belly. This asbestos-induced carcinoma can take decades to show up, which complicates early detection. Its symptoms often look like less serious problems, which leads to wrong diagnoses and treatment delays.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer from asbestos is hard to spot compared to other lung cancers. It creeps up slowly and needs a detailed work history to diagnose correctly. If you’ve been around asbestos a lot, your risk of this deadly cancer increases.


Asbestosis is a chronic lung condition caused by breathing in asbestos fibres. It slowly scars the lungs, making it hard to breathe as time goes on. This scarring makes the lungs weak against more damage and really affects health.

These dangerous diseases show why it’s critical to act fast on asbestos in the air. We must tackle asbestos contamination to protect everyone’s health.

Reducing Asbestos Exposure in the Home

Making our homes safe from dangerous asbestos requires careful steps. Hiring asbestos removal experts is a wise move to lower health risks. Let’s look at how to keep your home safe.

Asbestos abatement

Inspection and Testing

If your home was built or renovated before 1990, you need to check for asbestos. Professionals can spot asbestos accurately. DIY kits are less reliable than testing by certified labs, which is safer and more precise.

Safe Removal and Disposal

When you find asbestos, getting rid of it safely is crucial. Experts, following strict Australian rules, can do this job well. Take Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane, known for its safe removal practices. They protect people and the environment during the cleanup.

Here’s a simple comparison:

ServiceBenefitsRisks If Avoided
Asbestos Inspection ServicesAccurate detection, reduced exposure risk, certified resultsPotential misidentification, increased health risks
Safe Asbestos RemovalCompliance with safety standards, professional handling, risk minimizationImproper disposal, environmental contamination, health hazards

Choosing expert asbestos removal services protects us from asbestos dangers. It’s key for our health and comfort.


Thinking about airborne asbestos shows us how crucial it is to raise awareness in Australia. This danger, linked to serious illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, highlights the need for urgent action. It stresses protecting our well-being.

Handling asbestos safely in homes and at work is vital. Using expert services for checks, tests, and removal helps lower risk. Companies like Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane follow strict rules to keep everyone safe. They are key in defending our health.

By acting on advice in this piece, we can cut down on asbestos dangers. It’s up to all of us to focus on safety, calling for swift action and making smart choices. Let’s be proactive in ensuring asbestos safety, using experts and resources for our communities.


What are the health risks associated with airborne asbestos?

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause serious issues such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These diseases don’t show up until many years after being exposed to asbestos. The symptoms often appear long after the first exposure.

How prevalent is asbestos in Australian homes?

Until the mid-1980s, asbestos was common in Aussie construction and banned in 2003. Lots of homes built or renovated before the ban might have asbestos. It’s often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and garages.

How does asbestos become airborne?

When renovating or demolishing, asbestos fibres can get into the air. It also happens as asbestos materials wear down over time. This worrying for DIY fans and construction workers.

What are the common sources of asbestos exposure?

Asbestos is in stuff like insulation, roofing, cement sheets, and floor tiles. Old cars, appliances, and even some garden products might have it too.

What are the specific health effects of asbestos exposure?

Breathing in asbestos can seriously harm your lungs. It can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. These diseases lead to lung damage, inflammation, and a higher chance of cancer.

What symptoms should prompt a concern for asbestos-related diseases?

If you’re coughing a lot, have chest pain, can’t catch your breath, or feel very tired, it might be from asbestos. It’s vital to get checked by a doctor if you’ve been around asbestos and have these symptoms.

Who should conduct asbestos inspection and testing in our home?

Always have asbestos checks and testing done by qualified pros. It’s risky to try to do it yourself because handling asbestos is dangerous.

How should asbestos be safely removed and disposed of?

Only trained experts should remove and dispose of asbestos. They know the Australian safety rules. Companies like Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane are good at this. They keep everyone and the environment safe.

Q: What steps can we take to reduce asbestos exposure in our home?

First, get a pro to inspect your home, especially if it’s old. If you find asbestos, hire specialists to take it away. Always wear safety gear and follow the rules when fixing up your house.

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Somah Thong

Asbestos Removal Specialist

Somah Thong is an experienced, licensed, and qualified asbestos removal specialist and the founder of Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane. Established on June 2, 2010, Total Asbestos Removal Brisbane has become a leading name in the industry, undertaking some of the largest asbestos and demolition projects in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. With a commitment to safety and excellence, Somah and his team have earned a reputation for delivering high-quality services in the asbestos removal sector.