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The History of Asbestos, its Uses and its Harm

The History of Asbestos, its Uses and its Harm

You’ve probably heard of a mineral that’s called asbestos because it had a lot of media coverage in the not-so-distant past. It was commonly used in the construction industry in the likes of walls, pipes and ceilings because it is resistant to heat and doesn’t bond with other chemicals without great difficulty. However, despite the many desirable qualities that asbestos possesses, we now know that it’s extremely hazardous to human health.


Detect the Danger

Asbestos is a carcinogen that can lead to a number of crippling diseases, the worst being asbestosis, mesothelioma and even lung cancer in rare cases. Unfortunately, it’s the microscopic fibres that are extremely dangerous if inhaled, and that means that you can’t detect the danger using your senses alone.

This dangerous mineral has actually been used for millennia by various civilisations. The Romans documented their use of asbestos in the likes of cloths and napkins, but they also noted its negative effect on people’s health when working in mines that utilised it in large quantities. Archaeologists have found traces of asbestos fibres that date back up to 750,000 years ago, and it’s believed that humans have been using it for at least 4,000 years.


More recently, asbestos was used for things such as insulation up until the 1980s. However, that means that you could be facing a number of health risks if you’re renovating or demolishing a relatively old building, meaning it’s vital you utilise the professionals for asbestos testing before starting work if you want to keep yourself and your employees safe.

SERS are experts in asbestos testing and only use the most advanced technology available to detect its presence.Companies such as this one exist to ensure your work environment is hazard-free, so you ought to give them a call immediately if you suspect asbestos may be present in your building.

Ensuring Your Work Environment is Safe

Of course, there are a multitude of hazards to watch out for when renovating or demolishing a building, but asbestos is especially dangerous because it’s difficult to detect. Here’s why you need to have your building tested:

  • You have a duty to keep your workers safe – It’s your responsibility to provide your employees with a safe working environment, and part of doing that involves ensuring there’s no asbestos present.
  • You need to protect yourself – While employee safety is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, you also need to consider your own health as you go about your work.
  • You need to comply with the law – In most Australian states, you’ll be required to have your building independently inspected for asbestos.

Help is Available

The best asbestos inspectors exist to ensure your building is asbestos-free, and if it isn’t, they know what needs to be done to eliminate it safely. You should never try to detect asbestos by yourself because you could be putting yourself in danger, and that’s why choosing a trusted and professional independent company is of the utmost importance.

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