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Australia’s Asbestos Abatement Dilemma

Australia’s Asbestos Abatement Dilemma

the way to manage the issue of asbestos in Australia is a few police have grappled with for years.

Around the nation, tens of thousands of houses developed in asbestos’ heyday are still standing. Most include varying quantities of this deadly mineral — chiefly in the kind of fiber-cement sheeting.

Forms of sheeting commonly found in elderly Australian houses comprise:

  • Corrugated Asbestos Sheets: Employed in siding and roofing of all types of buildings such as houses, farms and factories.

  • Asbestos Apartment Sheet: Employed as walls in house interiors and floor underlay.

  • Asbestos Lumber and Cement Sheathing: Employed as a foundation for roof, shingles and false-brick facing.

Ticking Time Bombs

The vast majority of these older houses are occupied, raising serious concerns for occupants.

Why? Since the cement holding the asbestos fibers set up inside wall sheeting and corrugated roofing panels has attained the end of its working life and is currently vulnerable.

Roofing, in residential and commercial buildings, is of special concern due to its vulnerability to the components and the chance of it getting rancid.

The expression friable describes any asbestos-containing substance which will be readily crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder once ruined by exposure to weather, fire or individual intervention like home renovations and vandalism.

If this occurs, fatal asbestos fibers — no more contained inside the cement — have been discharged into the atmosphere. Once inhaled, they can lead to long-term harm to the lungs, leading to diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Asbestos Abatement in Australia

Contrary to popular belief, the word”asbestos abatement” doesn’t refer to the disposal and removal of asbestos-containing materials independently, but to a reduction in and diminishing of these risks and risks associated with these goods.

Thus, there are various procedures of asbestos abatement: Demolition, removal, encapsulation, encasement and enclosure.


Complete demolition of houses with asbestos-containing stuff is a complicated and protracted process with related costs between $6 and $18 or more per square foot, based on the complexity of the project.

Demolition also will come with serious health dangers for anybody involved with the surgery due to the potential airborne asbestos fibers. As there are many older houses containing asbestos materials around Australia, demolition alone isn’t regarded as a sensible or viable choice.


This procedure requires the elimination of asbestos-containing substances only, leaving the remainder of the home or building undamaged. Regardless, it is sometimes a time-consuming and costly procedure, costing between $6 to $12 dollars per square foot, based on the complexity of the job.

Factors related to these prices include locating temporary accommodation for taxpayers, repairing or rebuilding affected houses, and transport of asbestos into a secure facility. This method also will come with serious health risks due to the chance of airborne asbestos.


Encapsulation entails covering asbestos-containing substances using a smooth protective coating. It’s effective in eliminating the need to eliminate toxic substance and is the safest and many cost-effective procedure of asbestos management.

The encapsulant — a thin liquid with penetrating, bridging and difficult setting qualities — is blended up 50 percent water and sprayed directly onto the face of asbestos containing materials, effectively preventing any release of asbestos fibers. )


Otherwise called”spray-applied enclosure,” encasement is much like encapsulation in its program and benefits, but there are lots of differences which make this type of long-term solution.

  • The water-based spray is thicker and also owns elastomeric properties which allow for mechanical attachments to be stuck into the surface.

  • The spray is used in quantities varying from 7 to 40 mils, based on a range of factors, such as: surface requirements, planned use of the construction and desirable guarantee.

  • When implemented, the outer shell of this encasement is extremely resistant to damage from inadvertent or deliberate effect, warmth, acids, water, ultra-violate mechanical and light and seismic events.


Enclosure, normally between the positioning of Gypsum board or plywood about asbestos-containing materials, protects the installer and house occupants out of direct contact with asbestos-containing materials.

It doesn’t yet guard against indirect contact via the release of asbestos fibers and also is regarded as a short-term remedy before encapsulation or elimination. Because most Australian states need encapsulation before enclosure, it’s not cost effective.

No Simple Option

Due to the size of the asbestos problem in Australia, there isn’t any simple solution. To work, all abatement methods might have to be used, individually or in unison based on the conditions.

Though asbestos-encapsulation goods are now available on the current market, customers are advised not to employ it themselves.

The encapsulation procedure must rather be performed by an expert contractor in restricted conditions and in compliance with the most recent business regulations and rules regarding asbestos materials.

Regular tests to assess the state of the sprayed asbestos substance over time also needs to be implemented.

The article Australia’s Asbestos Abatement Dilemma appeared initially on Mesothelioma Center РVital Services for Cancer Patients & Families.

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