If you’ve just found out that your house has an asbestos problem, naturally your first instinct is to find out how to remove it. While it is extremely important that you address the problem immediately, this is one job that we highly recommend you refrain from doing yourself.
Asbestos was a very common and popular material used in construction projects back in the 70s and 80s. Because of its great insulation and fire-resistant qualities, it was widely used to build houses, which is why it can be found in many homes today.
However, when asbestos or anything containing asbestos is damaged or disturbed, microscopic fibres are released into the air. If these are inhaled, they could reach your lungs, damage your entire respiratory system, and put you at the serious risk of developing serious diseases.
Is DIY asbestos removal safe?
The short answer is: no.
We strongly advise against attempting to remove asbestos on your own. It is very, very easy to disturb asbestos and once the particles are released, there is a strong possibility of you breathing them in.
When that happens, you will gradually start to develop symptoms of asbestos-related diseases, such as the following:
Because our bodies are unable to break down or remove the microscopic asbestos fibres, they become stuck in sensitive tissue around the lungs or abdomen. Over a period of time, these fibres eventually cause irritation and inflammation that damages cells, leading to abnormal cell growth and cancer.
Asbestos exposure is a major cause of about 4% of lung cancer cases. No amount of asbestos is considered safe to be exposed to, however research has shown that prolonged exposure does put individuals at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
Symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer include chest pain, coughing up phlegm or sputum, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, and weight loss.
Exposure to asbestos may cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the lining of the internal organs. It’s an aggressive and deadly form of cancer with a low survival rate, with the average life expectancy being around 12 to 21 months.
Mesothelioma most commonly develops in the lungs or abdomen, however in much rarer cases, tumors may grow in the lining of the heart. Generally, the symptoms come in the form of cough, difficulty breathing, fever, and flural buildup in the chest or abdomen.
The only proven cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Even individuals who have come in contact with asbestos through secondhand exposure are at risk.
Asbestosis is non-cancerous, however it is an incurable lung disease that causes lung tissue to become more and more scarred until it becomes so stiff that it is unable to function normally. There is no cure for asbestosis, however with proper treatment, symptoms can be alleviated.
The first symptoms of this disease are dry cough and difficulty breathing, accompanied by crackling sounds. Because the lung tissues have stiffened, this results in less oxygen being delivered to the blood, meaning you will experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and weight loss. More advanced symptoms are pulmonary hypertension and clubbed fingers and toes.
Asbestosis takes less time to develop than asbestos-related cancers, however an asbestosis diagnosis puts an individual at risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma in the future.
In order to prevent any exposure to asbestos, get in touch with asbestos audits Melbourne companies. If you suspect that your home has asbestos in it, you must reach out to the professionals as they are properly trained and will follow the strictest regulations in removing asbestos. They will test for the toxic mineral and carry the appropriate removal equipment to keep you completely safe from exposure.