Asbestos Audits Queensland

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Roof cladding Rope on pipe Woven Asbestos at mounting brackets for AC system

About Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name applied to a group of six different fibrous minerals (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and the fibrous varieties of tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite) that occur naturally in the environment. Non asbestos (non fibrous) forms of tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite also are found naturally.

The most common mineral types are white (chrysotile), blue (crocidolite) or brown (amosite).  Asbestos can be found naturally in soil and rocks in some areas for example in Australia blue asbestos was found and mined at Wittenoom W.A. and white asbestos at Woodsreef N.S.W.

Asbestos fibres are resistant to heat and most chemicals and have a great deal of tensile strength. Because of these properties, asbestos fibres have been mined for use in a wide range of man-made products, mostly in building materials, friction products, and heat-resistant materials.

Therefore asbestos containing materials can be found almost anywhere. Asbestos fibres do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. Small fibres and fibre-containing particles may remain suspended in the air for a long time and be carried long distances by wind or water currents before settling. Therefore a building which has had a large amount of asbestos in it and had removal carried out may still contain dangerous amounts of asbestos carried by internal air movement.

In indoor air, the concentration of asbestos depends on whether asbestos was used for insulation, ceiling or wall linings, or other purposes, and whether these asbestos-containing materials are in good condition or are deteriorated and easily crumbled (known as its friability)

Asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural plaques and lung cancer are the recognised diseases caused by asbestos and are all as a result of inhalation of asbestos fibres. Other diseases and cancers may also be caused or linked to asbestos but still require further investigation.