When you read up on asbestos removal regulations, you come across the term “friable”. Friable asbestos removal in Sydney and New South Wales has more stringent air monitoring and abatement regulations.
What is friable asbestos?
It’s not that hard because the word “friable” comes from the Latin word which means “to crumble”, and friable materials are basically materials that you can crumble easily. (Note: this has nothing to do with the verb “to fry”!)
Friable vs non-friable asbestos
The fact that asbestos becomes friable means that it breaks down into tiny fibres that will be released into the air. If left unchecked and without proper precautions, these fibers will be inhaled, resulting in long-term damage to the lungs. This damage can cause conditions such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
Most importantly, the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos is not perfect. With time, non-friable asbestos can become friable.
Building materials contain non-friable (or “bound”) asbestos in the form of fibro. Asbestos in this state is less harmful. But over time, various factors affect its integrity and damage the material to the point that it becomes friable.
In addition, human activity can also damage bound asbestos. It is, therefore, necessary to be cautious when renovating. Before drilling into a wall or tearing out vinyl floor tiles, ensure you are not endangering your family. You must test for asbestos.
Treat all asbestos as potentially friable
There is a high risk of non-friable asbestos becoming friable. So, Airsafe advises treating all asbestos as potentially friable. This means it is necessary to take significant precautions while removing asbestos.
How do I plan to take precautions? Call Airsafe at (02) 9555 9034. We will refer you to an asbestos removal contractor who will not skimp on costs. We also provide air monitoring to make sure that no fibers are released into the air during asbestos removal and clearance inspections to ensure that all asbestos has been removed properly.
No matter if it is crumbling or not, you should not risk asbestos.