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Health Risks

Asbestos fibres can be a serious health risk – especially if they are airborne and you inhale them. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure.

Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases in some people. These diseases can take decades to develop and can’t be cured, only managed.

When is asbestos a health risk?

Doctor reviewing a lung x ray

There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. The risk of developing an asbestos related disease depends on your exposure to asbestos and the condition of the asbestos. Asbestos in good condition is lower risk than damaged asbestos.

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How can asbestos make me sick?

Doctor and a male patient reviewing an x ray

Asbestos fibres are too small to be seen by the naked eye. When asbestos is disturbed, dust released into the air may contain asbestos. Inhaling these asbestos fibres can cause serious diseases.

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What diseases can asbestos cause?

A gloved hand holding a small pile of thousands of asbestos fibres and tweezers

The long-term effects of asbestos exposure include asbestos health conditions like:

  • asbestosis
  • lung cancer
  • mesothelioma
  • asbestos related pleural diseases (ARPDs).
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Health risks

If you’re starting a home renovation, or if you're a tradie or commercial builder, be asbestos aware. If you’re not sure if it’s asbestos, treat it like it is. Keep everyone safe by learning how to identify and manage asbestos-containing materials.