What is Asbestos?
- Asbestos has high Tensile Strength — Asbestos fibers have a higher tensile strength than steel, meaning that asbestos-infused cables have a higher pressure threshold before they break
- Non-Flammable — Asbestos cannot be burned or melted, even at extremely high temperatures up to 2750° C
- Thermal Stability and Thermal Resistance — Asbestos is a great insulator, reducing temperature changes while shielding objects from high temperatures
- Electrical Resistance — Asbestos will not carry an electrical current nor will an electrical current cause the material to rapidly elevate in temperature
- Chemical Resistance — Asbestos is non-reactive to a wide range of caustic or oxidizing chemicals
- Hydrophobic properties certain types of asbestos naturally repels water and is used in vinyl and glue on residential and commercial applications
Asbestos the silent killer
Asbestos is a health risk if it becomes airborne.
Asbestos is a fibrous material that, when broken, easily breaks down into very small microfibers of 4 µm or less. When these invisible fibres are airborne (friable) they are easily inhaled and become lodged deep in the lungs, causing fibrosis (scarring) of the lung, resulting in a slow painful death for which there is no current cure.
Here in New Zealand, between 1999 and 2010. approximately 150 people have died each year from asbestos related conditions
The 2013 Ministry of Innovation and Business report – Work Related Disease in New Zealand stated:
It is estimated that at least 170 people died in 2010 from asbestos-related diseases, including the cancers’ mesothelioma, and the respiratory disease asbestosis. The number of mesothelioma death’s have increased considerably since 1999. While preventative measures are too late for this wave of asbestos-related death’s, this data is a timely reminder of the toll of exposure to asbestos. It also reinforces the need to ensure present-day exposure to asbestos is prevented.”
Asbestos in the workplace
If asbestos is found stop work immediately – advise others.
New regulations and industry standard’s were implemented on 4 April 2016. These new regulations have a significant impact on everyone, including people in control of a workplace and those who undertake any work involving asbestos. Fines of up to $40,000 are now imposed for failure to test a substance for asbestos prior to work commencing.
Asbestos in the home
Asbestos was used widely across the residential market as seen on the image here. If your home was built before 2000 we recommend that you have a independent licensed assessor/surveyor carry out a survey if you are renovating or suspect damage to possible asbestos containing materials.
Identification of asbestos
Asbestos is an extremely difficult product to completely identify. It should be left to licensed qualified professionals. We at Advanced Environmental Services do-not offer surveying services but work closely with some of the country’s best assessors. Let us direct you to the right people to identify any ACM materials and properly scope removal if required.
People in control of a place of work need to:
- Arrange for an asbestos survey of their workplace to be undertaken by an accredited organisation,
- Prepare an asbestos register
- Keep the survey at the workplace
- Provide this information to those who occupy the premises and those who may carry out work that may disturb asbestos.