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Asbestos Terror in Imported Dongas
Recent news about imported dongas has created a ruckus among the residents of Tennant Creek. They feared of getting poisoning by asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that according to a report was present in one of nearly a dozen imported dongas.
The finding has been confirmed earlier this month by a privately-sourced report from the Australian Safer Environment and Technology. The ACM was identified in wall lining materials in one of the dongas. It was found broken and spread all over the place. Further, no one cleaned the site.
The local council was asked to remove it, if the material was easily accessed by the public, since there is no safe level of exposure when it comes to fibrous products. Any exposure is potentially life-threatening.
The inspection was performed by NT WorkSafe Inspectors to verify the information. The dongas were imported from China about six years ago by the Julalikari Council, and the organisation together with NT Worksafe and other agencies did a comprehensive testing on the demountable.
ACM in House Materials
As previously mentioned on the news, the material containing dangerous fibres was used as the wall lining material. This material was mostly installed to houses that were built before mid-1980s. The products of fibrous materials could be found in every part of a house.
There are two types of fibrous materials that were used for house materials in the construction industry:
- Non-friable or also known as bonded
- Friable or loosely-bound
The non-friable material consists of a small amount of ACMs fixed in a hardened cement matrix. It is the most common material used in residential housing. Famously called as ‘fibro’, ‘asbestos cement’ or ‘AC sheeting’, the material is likely to contain 10-15% of ACM, but occasionally it can reach up to 40%.
The bonded type is less of a risk compared to the loosely-bound one and is easier to handle. However, if the solidly bound material is deteriorated then becomes disintegrated, extra care handling is needed to avoid the generation of dust-containing deadly fibres.
Another bonded product that is commonly used in commercial, industrial and residential buildings is insulating boards. It is used for fire protection, sound and heat insulation. The product is also used for:
- Ceiling tiles
- Wall linings
- Electrical panels
- Circuit boards
- Lining under eaves
- Lagging on hot water pipes
- Backing of vinyl floor and tiles
- Garden sheds
- Dog kennels
Is New Building Free from Fibrous Products?
Although according to the general rule that only houses built before 1990 contain fibrous products, based on the news, a new structure is also possible of being installed with products containing dangerous fibres imported from China. This case occurred in Perth Children’s Hospital where the collapsed ceilings were identified for being contaminated with fibrous materials.
In fact, the ACM has been fully banned on December 31,2003. All forms of this material are no longer allowed in Australia, including mining, storing, selling, importing, using, reusing, as well as manufacturing the products. But some rogue contractors were found to use illegally imported products from China for building materials.
With the fact that some buildings could possibly be installed with illegal products containing dangerous fibres, demands high awareness from all individuals.
As the initial step in protecting individuals within the building from being exposed to hazardous fibres is by checking the age of the building. It does not harm you to check whether or not the building you live in or are responsible for, is constructed before or after 1990. As formerly explained that older building is highly contaminated by ACMs. Therefore, the further step that should be taken is inspection and testing. Hire qualified assessors for an accurate result.
Fibres are not easily visible to the human eyes without the help of any apparatus. The fibres are very small and thin that can only be observed under the microscope. To do the testing, the first thing to do is do an inspection then collect the samples. Afterwards, the samples of suspected products are going to be sent to a lab. There, sampling process will be done to examine the presence of ACMs in the samples. For a reliable test result, the suggested lab for testing is a NATA accredited lab.
Is DIY possible for Sample Collection?
When collecting a sample, special care needs to be seriously considered to ensure that contamination will be kept minimal. To protect yourself from the exposure, using protective kits are required such as a standard mask, gloves, and sealed bags.
Also, if you plan a DIY for the sample collection, you need to be familiar with the information on the process of sampling. You can check the info here.
Once the process confirmed the result of this test, a report called an Asbestos Register will be provided. The report should include the following information:
- Details information regarding the individual who will perform the survey
- The location and material description related to known or suspected ACMs
- Testing result
- Details of recommended actions
The applicable actions to handle ACMs are either repair or removal. If the material is in good condition and is not disturbed, just leave it and monitor it over time. If there is a minor damage, the report may recommend a repairmen or sealing as the action to prolong the life of the material and manage the risk up till it needs to be removed.
However, if the ACM is in a poor condition and is likely to be disturbed or damaged, the only choice left is removal. As it will involve demolition, prior to removing process you will need to complete a control plan. For such job, only a removalist with a license is strongly recommended. A professional removalist knows how to perform a safe and clean removal.
The Professional for Quality Asbestos Removal Darwin Services
Asbestos Watch Darwin is ready to solve your asbestos removal problems. We will introduce you to qualified contractors who hold an A-Class license who offer quality asbestos removal Darwin services. They have followed hours of training and obtained accredited certification.
All the work will be performed following the procedure established by the local and national regulations. If you urgently need to remove fibrous products, contact our endorsed contractors. They are ready to sort out your problem with their four core services, including:
The good news is, you can get three free quotes from our endorsed contractors. No hidden cost, everything will be transparent. Wait no more! You are dealing with a life-threatening substance. Contact our members now and let them get rid of asbestos completely from your property.