Have you ever seen the classic film The Wizard of Oz? This enduring movie features a scene in which the Wicked Witch attacks Dorothy and her friends with poisoned poppies. All the while, there was life-threatening poison on the set—and it wasn’t in the poppies.
The snow that rained down on the actors in the poppy field was asbestos. Today, we know that asbestos is a toxic substance that increases the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and pulmonary heart disease.
Sadly, the actor who played the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, Jack Haley, Jr., passed away from respiratory failure that, in hindsight, might have been mesothelioma caused by his exposure to asbestos on the set.
Asbestos-related death is not a thing of the past. Australia has one of the largest populations diagnosed with mesothelioma in the world. This alarming death rate is due to the silent and unseen asbestos fibres that lurk in the building materials of our homes and businesses.
Are You at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos was a common building material throughout history due to its flame-retardant properties. Asbestos was not banned by Australia until 2003, meaning that if you work in an older building or live in a home built before that year, you might be exposed to asbestos and its health risks. Asbestos is dangerous due to its:
- Invisibility – Asbestos can be invisible to the human eye unless seen with a microscope. When asbestos particles are released into the air from wall or floor damage or home renovations, they can be breathed into the lungs, causing an elevated cancer risk.
- Dormancy – The health effects of asbestos do not immediately appear. You could go on for years without experiencing symptoms, all the while breathing in toxic material that continually makes you sicker.
- Frequency – Asbestos statistically has been found in one out of three Australian homes. If left undisturbed, it is relatively harmless. However, you and your family may be one accident or fumbling handy person away from breathing in life-threatening microscopic particles.
Asbestos in the Workplace
Workers who have structural repair jobs increase the risk of asbestos exposure. If you or someone you are in close contact with works in one of these roles, you might be at risk for potentially deadly side effects. Such jobs include
- Construction workers
- Auto mechanics
- Electrical engineers
- Insulation installers
- Industrial workers
- Power plant workers
Make sure that you have the proper training when it comes to handling asbestos material.
Asbestos Watch Brisbane
Asbestos has no place in your home or business. At Asbestos Watch Brisbane, we rigorously train our team to safely and effectively strip away asbestos from your property. If you are concerned about the potential of asbestos in your home or workplace.
Please call 07 3180 1405 for a free quote today!
Featured image source credit: bbc.com