Accidentally exposed to Asbestos in your home?

Sep 11, 2022

Accidental Exposure

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to do a renovation and then realise afterward that they disturbed some asbestos containing materials.

If you think you might have disturbed asbestos:

  • Stop work
  • Evacuate
  • Prevent spread
  • Prevent access
  • Get specialist help
Face Masks

If there is dust or debris on your clothing, you should stay put, get help and put on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to minimise the risk of breathing in dangerous fibres.

RPE suitable for protection from asbestos fibres should be used, the usual practice is a P2 filtered half or full-face respirator. If you don’t have P2 filtered RPE available an N95 disposable respirator could be used as an alternative for decontamination purposes.

Don’t move around if you are contaminated. This will spread asbestos fibres and put yourself and others in further danger.

Wipe yourself down with wet wipes (damping down dust prevents the fibres from becoming airborne). Never dry brush or rub down with your hands, this will put the light asbestos fibres back into the air and mean more chance of breathing them in.

You will need to dispose of your clothes as asbestos waste or have them cleaned by a specialist laundry. The wet wipes should also be disposed of as asbestos waste.  You should also shower and wash your hair, as fibres can attach to body hair.

Light, short-term exposure rarely causes disease and a one-off exposure from do-it-yourself renovation is unlikely to present a major health risk. Unfortunately, there are no simple tests that can determine if a person has been exposed to asbestos or to what extent they have been exposed in a one-off exposure event or short-term incident. Asbestos exposure typically will take a number of years before damage may develop and show up in medical imaging or tests.

Most asbestos related diseases arise only after many years of regular exposure.  Don’t panic.  Asbestos exposure will not have any immediate impact on your health.  Make sure your doctor is aware of the event so it is can be recorded in your medical history.

If you are thinking of doing some renovations on your property, you need to check for the presence of asbestos before starting the work. This is especially important for properties built, or had some work done, between 1950 and 2000, as they are quite likely to contain asbestos containing materials.  These materials are not dangerous if they are in a good condition and remain undisturbed.

See below for where asbestos can be found in a residential property.

Asb Found Home

Click below to see what Asbestos services we provide or contact us to discuss.