Reports of asbestos in residential and commercial construction sites have almost doubled in the past five years, data from SafeWork NSW has revealed.

Home renovation shows such as the block are leading the trends for increased home renovations and as the desire for new homes increase, so do the dangers to the public when removing asbestos from older style properties. Data released by the Department of Planning has revealed that more than 31,000 new homes were built in Sydney in the last year, the highest annual number of new homes in more than four decades.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral used in many homes in Australia from 1940s till 2003 when a total ban on manufacture, use, reuse, import, transport, storage or sale of all forms of asbestos came into force. Asbestos proves no harm to the general public except for when it is disturbed and fibres are released. If materials containing asbestos show no signs of wear or tear and are in good condition, in many cases there is no cause for concern. It is when the asbestos is needed to be removed or handled that the fibres could be disbursed and inhaled. The fibres when inhaled can be carried into the lower regions of the lung where they can cause fibrotic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity (pleura). These diseases can lead to reduced respiratory function and death. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibres also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.

If you think you may have asbestos in your home or your looking to renovate soon remember it is often difficult to identify asbestos products just by looking at them, which is why it is important to hire a licenced professional to identify, handle and remove asbestos products from your residential or commercial property. DIG IT Civil understands the importance of correctly assessing and safely removing asbestos and other hazardous materials to the correct licenced waste removal facilities. Working closely with WorkCover Australia and your local council, notifying them at least seven days prior to commencing any structural or asbestos demolition work.

“Our qualified team can support you through every stage of the asbestos removal process, including assessing the risks and offering professional advice about the best way to proceed.” Stated Scott Remond from Dig it Civil.