Asbestos is still around
Asbestos is still present in many homes and buildings today. This is because of the extensive use of asbestos in building materials, insulating materials and other products in the past. The use of asbestos in some of these materials did not cease until well into 2003.
Who is at risk
There have been countless incidents of persons being unwittingly exposed to asbestos carrying out home renovations or being present near homes or other building construction work.
It is important to realise that not everyone exposed to asbestos will develop an asbestos disease. Some people exposed, even heavily exposed, will not develop any asbestos related disease. However any exposure should be avoided.
It is also important to note that it can take decades for asbestos disease to develop following exposure to asbestos and it is very rare for any asbestos disease to develop earlier than 10 years after exposure.
Keep a record of your exposure
Anyone exposed to asbestos should keep some form of record of their asbestos exposure. For those exposed in the workplace an incident report should be completed and then a registration of the exposure can be lodged with the employer’s workers compensation insurer.
If the exposure has occurred in the home, such as from home renovation or from being near home renovations, you should prepare a written record of the exposure and keep it in a safe place. The Society can be contacted for assistance with this.
If the exposure took place a long time ago it is still important to prepare a written record.
See your doctor
A person exposed to asbestos should see their general practitioner to discuss the consequences of asbestos exposure and appropriate medical investigation. If the exposure is only very recent it is unlikely that there would be an identifiable health effect of the asbestos exposure, but it is always important to draw the asbestos exposure to the attention of your general practitioner who can take appropriate steps.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and develop respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue or other such symptoms you should see your general practitioner or treating doctor to have these symptoms investigated.
The Society can be contacted regarding any concerns about asbestos exposure.
All asbestos exposure should be registered and this can be done by calling the Society on 1800 776 412.