What Is Asbestos, And Why Is It Banned In Australia?

18 September 2021

Asbestos is a mineral that was used as an insulating material in buildings up until the 1980s. It’s been banned in Australia, as it could have negative consequences on your health. There are two types of asbestos:


  • Blue Asbestos - Blue can be broken down into different categories (crocidolite, amosite).
  • White Asbestos - White cannot be broken down any further.


Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was mined for use in building construction because of its fire-retardant qualities. It also has sound insulating properties, making it desirable for constructing homes and buildings from the 1950s to 1980s when asbestos mining companies stopped supplying this material due to health risks associated with exposure. The government of Australia banned the use of asbestos in buildings, products and vehicle brakes over 20 years ago. Because of this ban, these days when a home inspection in Sydney or elsewhere is carried out, inspectors will check for asbestos by looking for the tell-tale signs of friable (easily crumbled) material, such as in ceiling tiles and upholstery. If you think your home may have been built or refurbished with materials containing asbestos, see a licensed tradesperson to arrange a building inspection in Sydney straight away.


The dangers of asbestos come from when it gets into the air and people breathe it in, which causes lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis over time. There are also other ways to contact these diseases such as skin contact or ingestion by eating food contaminated with asbestos fibers etc.


Asbestos has been found to cause cancer. It is a carcinogen, and it causes cancer by damaging DNA cells in the lungs or lining of the abdomen. Not all people are affected equally but if exposed for extended periods to asbestos dust, then some cancers can develop sporadically decades later. Medical research has revealed that those who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos at work (such as building tradesmen) had an increased risk of developing lung cancer even 20 years after first working with this substance. This is because microscopic particles from these materials get deep into their respiratory systems which they cannot expel naturally on account of them being so small. Asbestos also attacks the protective layer of the lungs.


In Australia, it is illegal to import or manufacture new products containing asbestos, and from 2020 all building work must comply with strict rules on how they handle this substance in order to protect workers. This is why it is important to get a pre-purchase inspection report in Sydney when you are buying your new home or commercial building.


The Australian ban on asbestos has important implications for the future. It places Australia ahead of other countries and is an important step in taking responsibility for our actions, past and present. The Australian ban on asbestos will also save lives; it has been found that there are approximately 15 deaths per year from mesothelioma (cancer caused by asbestos) due to long term exposure to asbestos-containing products, so this measure should not be underestimated.

While it can sometimes seem like we cannot make any change or have no effect on what has already happened or continued occurring because of how long ago these events occurred, just one simple act such as banning something harmful allows us to take control of something small but significant.


So, how can you protect yourself from being exposed to this carcinogenic substance?

One of the best ways to protect yourself from being exposed to asbestos is by not disturbing any product or material that has been labeled as containing this carcinogenic substance. It can be found in many places, so it's important for homeowners and renters alike to know how to identify the presence of asbestos-containing materials before they disturb them. This will help you avoid inhaling these particles into your lungs and other parts of your respiratory system, which could lead to serious illness such as a debilitating mesothelioma cancer like lung cancer.


The ideal way to avoid asbestos is to get a home inspection in Sydney, since it is a mandatory check that these experienced inspectors do, since there are many legal implications if there is an asbestos presence in a home or building.


Asbestos is a toxic material that can cause serious illnesses and cancers. It’s important to understand how asbestos affects your body so you can avoid it in order to stay healthy. Learn about the health risks of asbestos exposure, what products contain this dangerous toxin, and how to identify if something contains asbestos before using or purchasing it!