A Guide to Asbestos in the Home


Asbestos is an umbrella term that describes a variety of naturally-occurring silicates. It was commonly used as a building material up until the early 1990s because of its high reinforcing, fire-resistant, and insulating properties. If left intact, asbestos is safe, but it can be harmful if damaged or exposed during asbestos removal in Auckland. The most common form of asbestos found in New Zealand homes is chrysotile asbestos, which can pose a significant health hazard if inhaled. Below, householders can learn about the health risks of asbestos.

Health Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

The health risks of asbestos depend on a variety of factors, such as the size and number of fibres in the air, the length of exposure, and the frequency of exposure. Users are more likely to experience asbestos-related health issues with exposure to higher concentrations of the mineral or with frequent, long-term exposure. Disease generally occurs in workers who have endured heavy exposure over an extended period, such as those who manufacture asbestos-containing building materials.

The Basics of Exposure to Asbestos

The main method of asbestos exposure is through aspiration, where asbestos fibres enter the lungs. Most fibres are removed from the lungs through the body’s natural defences, but fibre levels can build over time. If asbestos is swallowed, nearly all fibres are excreted through natural digestive function. However, some evidence suggests that lengthy exposure can increase the risk of tumours in the gastrointestinal system and that short-term, high-level ingestion can lead to a precancerous condition of the bowel. While asbestos fibres may penetrate the skin, they do not seem to pass through the skin into the bloodstream.

Asbestos in the Home

The risk of contracting an asbestos-related disease is very low short term ,risk is directly linked to the number of fibres and the length of the exposure. If adequately contained within the material in which it came, asbestos poses a negligible risk. For this reason, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health advises householders not to perform maintenance on asbestos-containing materials.

Those worried about the presence of asbestos in the home should talk to a provider of asbestos removal in Tauranga. You can arrange to have us test the home for asbestos fibres and also learn how to mitigate the risk of exposure. For help with asbestos testing in Auckland or to learn about asbestos removal cost, visit us at Asbestos Solutions at www.nzasbestos.co.nz as soon as possible.

Buying a Home in NZ? Consider Asbestos Testing Before Purchase


New Zealand’s householders often have questions about the quality of their indoor air, and for valid reasons. Most people spend at least one-third of their lives at home, and indoor air quality is essential to overall health. However, many air quality issues are difficult to accurately measure, but there’s one problem that surfaces quite often in older homes: asbestos. Below are some things for potential buyers, remodelers and householders to know about identifying asbestos in NZ.

Asbestos: What is It?

Asbestos is taken from the earth, and its natural properties make it an effective, cheap fire retardant. As such, asbestos was used in many building materials from the 1940s until the 1970s. The most common uses for asbestos include, but aren’t limited to:

Floor tiles
Ceiling tiles with acoustic properties
Heating duct tape
Boiler insulation
Popcorn ceilings
Flooring glue
Finding Asbestos in the Home

If a householder or buyer wants to find out if the home contains asbestos, they may hire an environmental lab or consultant to evaluate the structure. The contractor should follow strict testing protocol, and they may take dozens of samples. When the results are in, the owner should know whether there’s asbestos in the home—and they can learn how to safely go about removal of asbestos in NZ.

What Should a Householder do if There’s Asbestos in the Home?

Before the removal process begins, buyers should understand a few concepts about asbestos. If the questionable materials are not friable or damaged, the asbestos cannot become an airborne danger. Therefore, most old homes do not present a health risk if they are left intact. Householders should test for asbestos before renovations begin, and the contractor should receive a copy of the written inspection report.

Testing Before Purchase

Despite its importance, most buyers do not engage in asbestos testing as part of due diligence during the purchase process. If the home was built before 1980, however, buyers should assume that it contains some asbestos. Non-renovation homes are generally a low risk, but if remodeling is planned, the owner should include lead and asbestos remediation in the project’s budget. For help with asbestos testing service in NZ, householders, remodelers and buyers can rely on NZ Asbestos for the best possible advice and asbestos removal solutions in NZ. Visit www.nzasbestos.co.nz for more details.