A government error has placed Queensland homeowners at risk of being exposed to dangerous crumbling asbestos.
The government made a reclassification of a low-density fibre asbestos board, resulting in inappropriate handling of the deadly construction material.
Low-density fibre asbestos board
Asbestos was once a widely used material in construction before the 1980s. It has since been found that the material can be extremely dangerous if the fibre becomes airborne, often causing long term respiratory diseases such as lung cancer.
Asbestos removal companies classify asbestos by how easy the material can break down. Materials that can easily break apart require additional equipment and expertise. Materials which don’t break into small fibres can be handled with more simple tools and protective wear.
Low-density fibre asbestos boards should be considered a high-risk material due to its high chance of exposure. However, the Queensland government made an error in classifying it as a low-risk material as a bonded asbestos material. This made companies and homeowners mishandle the low-density fibre boards, placing themselves at risk of being exposed to the fibres if they break the material.
Reclassifying any asbestos material is a mistake
Reclassifying the fibre board has helped small asbestos removal companies and homeowners. This is due to easing of the safety policies. It gives jobs to novice asbestos removal workers and makes their services more affordable to homeowners.
Asbestos-Related Disease Support Society has called out the government regarding the reclassification. Despite the benefits of classifying the fibre board as low risk, the dangers of being exposed to deadly fibres outweigh it. The government though has stated the reclassification was made in their website and there were no change in their policy. They are looking to correct this as soon as possible.
Make sure you get expert help
Although some kinds of asbestos can be handled without professional help, if you are worried about the presence of asbestos in your home, don’t do it yourself, get professional help. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If you need a professional asbestos removal company to help you, talk to Asbestos Removals Australia. Call 0406 426 144 to get in touch and organise an inspection of your home or office.