Asbestos Fears in Storm Clean-up

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The forces of nature have proved unforgiving in Queensland in recent years, including in Brisbane, which has suffered from flooding and severe storms. Of the natural disasters that have affected the state, many fibro homes have also been damaged. Asbestos containing debris from these structures poses a significant risk for those involved in the mammoth clean-up operation. The Courier Mail reported that 155 separate cases of broken asbestos were documented after the 2011 Brisbane Floods, while The Australian newspaper reported heightened fears of asbestos exposure after north Queensland’s Cyclone Yasi. Since effects of extreme weather and building damage from storms continue across the state, Area 51 Asbestos would like to share some reminders regarding handling tips for building materials that may contain asbestos. These are particularly important to remember for those helping out during clean-up efforts from floods or severe storms.

- Assume asbestos is present in all building materials that are being handled from structures built prior to 1988.

- Never break down building materials into smaller pieces in an attempt to create more room in skip bins or dumpsters.

- Wear protective clothing that has been kept damp. Clothing should be disposed at the end of a clean-up and respiratory protection that covers the nose and mouth should be worn.

- Never use power tools or hoses to clean asbestos sheeting as this can cause fibres to be dislodged and become airborne.

When it comes to removing asbestos, government regulations require that any materials more than 10sq m in size legally must be removed by a licensed contractor. Area 51 Asbestos are licensed to safely remove and dispose of large quantities of asbestos and have the knowledge to identify which materials pose a risk. While helping out with clean-up efforts after severe storms and floods is honourable, we strongly urge those to think to take adequate precautions when handling building debris. For complete peace of mind contact the asbestos removal specialists here at Area 51, we can safely remove all asbestos containing products and provide a detailed inspection on your property. Call us today – 1300 273 251