What Types Of Asbestos Are There?

Asbestos is a dangerous material. While it can help protect your home from noise, heat, cold weather, and fire, it has also been found to cause deadly damage to your lungs. The material can cause something called asbestosis, which makes it difficult to breathe. Asbestos is also linked to a rare but extremely deadly cancer of your chest and stomach lining, as well as other fatal diseases.

How do you know if you have asbestos in your building? At QBM we provide the best in Brisbane asbestos testing, Brisbane asbestos inspections, and Brisbane asbestos management. We can help you identify your asbestos, monitor it, and provide recommendations on how to deal with the material in order to protect your health.

What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral found in nature. It’s mined from the Earth around the world and comes in six different types. Made from long, fibrous crystals, this material is useful but causes trouble when it’s released into the surrounding atmosphere and people breathe it in.

What was asbestos used in and for?
Asbestos has a long history. Scholars say it dates back to as early as 2,400 BC when the material was first involved in the creation of pots and pans in what is now Finland. In more recent times, asbestos was mined for industrial use beginning in the 1860s and 70s, in Quebec, Canada. It wasn’t until 1930, after many asbestos workers died from an unknown illness, that asbestosis was discovered.

In Australia, asbestos was gradually phased out of use starting in the 1980s. It was finally banned across the nation in 2003. This ban gives the public peace of mind knowing the material is no longer being used in the construction of walls and the floors of people’s homes. It also means, however, that homes and other buildings built or renovated before 1990 often do contain the controversial material and you need to be aware it could be there.

Friable Asbestos
There are different types of asbestos. Friable asbestos is found in materials where the asbestos is not encased or encapsulated in any way.  With this type, the material can crumble into a powder using hand pressure, alone. This type of asbestos is the most dangerous to be exposed to and was commonly used in commercial and industrial settings. Friable asbestos provided fireproofing, insulation, and soundproofing. Pipe lagging, sprayed insulation, boiler insulation, and fire retardant materials all contained asbestos before it was banned.

Non-Friable Asbestos
If you have a material that contains asbestos but it can’t be pulverized using only your hands, it’s considered to be non-friable asbestos. In other words, it can’t be crushed. In some cases, such as when demolishing a building, non-friable asbestos becomes friable asbestos, so it’s important to be on the lookout for this. Examples of non-friable asbestos include asbestos cement sheet, vinyl floor tiles, and bitumen-based waterproofing.

Asbestos Inspections & Testing with QBM
If you suspect you may have asbestos in your building or on your property, contact us at QBM. We have a team of licensed professionals to conduct an asbestos audit, and sampling for you. We can provide you with a detailed asbestos report, including photos, and provide you with asbestos monitoring and recommendations.

Knowing where your asbestos can be is key, especially if you’re planning renovations. Approximately 1 in 3 homes in Australia have asbestos on the premises and handling it properly is a must. As your leading provider of Brisbane asbestos testing, Brisbane asbestos inspections, and Brisbane asbestos management, we help you identify and deal with your asbestos safely. Contact us now for your inspection and get it done safely.