Why can asbestos dust or fibres be dangerous to your health?

Nov 11, 2017 | Front Page Feature, News

You must observe safety precautions when removing or working with asbestos, otherwise you risk exposing yourself and your family to long-term health risks.

Why can asbestos dust or fibres be dangerous to your health? There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres!

  • If asbestos is disturbed it can release dangerous fine particles of dust containing asbestos fibres.
  • Breathing in dust containing asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
  • Mesothelioma is a cancer which most often occurs in the lining of the lung. There is no cure
  • The rates of malignant mesothelioma (an incurable cancer) are expected to rise from 2012 to 2020.
  • The risk of contracting asbestos related diseases increases with the number of fibres inhaled and the length of time that you inhaled asbestos fibres (number of years exposed).
  • The risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibres is greatly increased if you smoke.
  • Symptoms of asbestos dust related diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos.
  • The average time between exposure and developing mesothelioma is about 45 years.

For further information on asbestos see the asbestos awareness website, Council’s website, phone Council’s Environmental Health staff on 1300 696 272 (1300 MY NBRC) or email Council.

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