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How can asbestos make you sick?

The World Health Organisation says there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. The risk of developing asbestos related diseases increases with your level of asbestos exposure.  

How do I check for asbestos?

You can’t identify asbestos just by looking at it, but knowing where it might be in your property is important.
A gloved hand holding a small pile of thousands of asbestos fibres and tweezers

If you think you have asbestos in your home or on your site, take these precautions:

  • use a licensed assessor to identify asbestos-containing materials
  • don’t disturb or damage asbestos
  • use a licensed removalist to remove and dispose of the asbestos safely.

Can a single exposure to asbestos cause health problems?

Most people do not develop illness as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Many people with health problems from asbestos have been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. In some cases, a single event of high level asbestos exposure has been enough to cause illness.

There is no known safe level of exposure. If you think it might be asbestos, treat it like it is.

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to asbestos?

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to see a health professional. Talk to your GP.

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, tell your employer. If they don’t immediately act to remove the asbestos risk, contact SafeWork NSW.

Asbestos fibres

Asbestos fibres are tiny – much finer than a human hair. When you breathe in asbestos fibres, they can settle deep inside the lungs. This may cause inflammation, scarring and lead to asbestos related diseases.

Asbestos assessor onsite making notes on a clipboard

What do I do if I think it’s asbestos?

Call a licensed asbestos professional to inspect the site and safely remove the asbestos material if needed.
Close of a mans hand typing on a laptop

Do I need to report asbestos?

The National Asbestos Exposure Register allows for reporting of potential asbestos exposure. It is voluntary, private, and a valuable record for future asbestos management.