If your property was built or renovated before the 31st of December 2003, there is the possibility it will contain asbestos material.
Almost all residents of Western Australia are at risk of asbestosis and mesothelioma if asbestos is handled incorrectly.
In Western Australia, it is estimated that over 90% of all houses built before 1984 contained asbestos material and it was not until 31 December 2003 that it became illegal to import, store, supply, sell, install, use or re-use asbestos in Australia.
Asbestos can be found in over 3000 different products, with a variety being found within Perth homes and businesses.
Asbestos was widely considered a cheap, durable product, which was used extensively in the building industry.
Dangers and Disease
Symptoms of these two may be similar, but they also do have their differences. The most crucial point of this is that there is currently no cure. Due to the risks associated with asbestos is essential to hire a professional asbestos removal company to remove any asbestos-containing material.
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma
Asbestosis is not cancer, but it has been shown to increase the likelihood of a person developing lung cancer or mesothelioma in the future. Asbestosis is a chronic respiratory disease caused when asbestos fibres are inhaled, lodging in the Alveoli.
The function of the Alveoli involves the absorption of oxygen and the expulsion of Carbon Dioxide. If the tiny air sacs in the lungs are hindered from the exchange, then constant “shortness of breath” may be present. Asbestosis will continue to progress as time passes. The lungs will become more stiff and scarring increases.
Asbestosis can also largely contribute to cardiac issues. The lungs and heart work together. Any damage caused to the lungs can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Heart problems can be an early indicator of asbestosis.
Mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs, as asbestos fibres are inhaled. The symptoms are a lot more severe and the prognosis, once diagnosed is between 4 to 12 months until death.
Due to the asbestos fibres becoming lodged in the lungs and unable to be exhaled, the lungs become scarred and stiffness begins to occur. A person with Asbestosis or Mesothelioma can describe the feeling as, tightness in the chest, with the inability to take full, deep breaths.
Whether it is from working with asbestos material, or living/working within an asbestos present environment. It is crucial that precautions be taken whenever there is a likelihood of asbestos material is present.
The latency period between the initial exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of asbestosis and mesothelioma can range from 10 to 40 years.
For further information, refer to the WA Mesothelioma Register.