Asbestos was used extensively in the construction industry up until the turn of the century, when it was discovered that it is very harmful to humans. Fortunately, it is no longer used in construction, but there are still many old buildings that do contain this harmful substance, and here is some advice to help protect your children from the perils of asbestos.
The Dangers of Asbestos
Before we knew of the dangers, asbestos was a preferred material to use in construction, as it was cheap and had good insulation properties, and of a sheet of asbestos cracks, tiny slivers will be introduced into the immediate area, and if a person should inhale these, they can get lodged in the throat or windpipe and eventually cause mesothelioma, and this is more often than not fatal.
This is a rare form of cancer that is caused by inhaling very fine asbestos particles, and there are not many people who survive this terrible disease, which can lay dormant in a person’s system for many years before finally showing itself.
Many schools were built way before asbestos was known to be harmful, and this means you should make enquiries about the school your children attend. Talk to the Principal and make your fears known about the risk of asbestos contamination, and they should be able to put your mind at rest. If not, consider removing your children into a safer learning environment. Many schools have already undergone asbestos sampling, and if they have, they can show you the certification for peace of mind.
If your home was built before 1980, there is a chance that asbestos was used in the construction process, and the only way to be really sure is to call in an expert. If you live in Western Australia, there are companies, such as http://www.sers.net.au/ that can send out an asbestos consultant who can detect any traces of the substance, and should they find any trace of asbestos in your home, they can safely remove it. Any property constructed after 1980 would not contain any asbestos, especially if you live in Australia, so you only need to be concerned if your home was built before that time.
Believe it or not, there are still toys around that have minute traces of asbestos, so always check with the manufacturers to ensure the toy is asbestos free. Some brands of crayons contain minute amounts of asbestos, although most toy makers are very aware of the possibility of a lawsuit, and for that reason, have discontinued its use.
Knowledge and Education
By learning of the dangers of asbestos, you can be fully informed, and many people seem to not be bothered about any risks they cannot see, which is the case with asbestos. The tiny particles could be in the air and you will inhale them without knowing about it, and this could lead to something very serious.
Even though its use has been discontinued for almost 30 years, there are still many buildings that do contain asbestos, and to absolutely sure that your home is not one of them, have someone conduct the tests.