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In this case, although the immediate risk associated from the materials in question would be low in normal circumstances, the potential for the risk increasing becomes applicable during any disturbance activities, including building refurbishment, renovation, alteration and demolition.
Over and above the provision of detailed Asbestos Containing Material surveys, we have in place the relevant level of experience from previous and numerous projects to identify for the presence of the following materials. Although these materials can be identified within a specific Hazardous Materials (HazMat) survey, it is often more cost effective to incorporate the same within the remit of a site Asbestos Containing Materials survey:
Whilst the risk from such materials remains low during normal day to day activities, the risk of exposure to Respirable SMF fibre is increased as and when the materials are disturbed.
Although there is limited evidence to indicate that exposure to SMF leads to disease consistent with asbestos, or in fact other carcinogenic materials generally; older type SMF products prior to 1990, are potentially carcinogenic and listed as Hazardous Materials by Safe Work Australia (SWA).
Exposure may lead to respiratory tract irritation, eye irritation or skin sensitization, which in turn can lead to further issues where personnel may already be affected by other medical conditions, including skin conditions and Asthma.
The previous use of SMF materials was varied and diverse, and in many situations seen as the natural replacement to the use of asbestos fibre, which included insulation materials, thermal, acoustic and electrical.
The fact that SMF materials were used as a replacement for asbestos materials, has also highlighted that SMF insulation materials may well be concealing previously removed asbestos, particularly to installations where asbestos was removed some years ago.
In addition to insulation materials including those used for roof insulation within roof cavities of domestic properties, SMF was used to manufacture suspended ceiling tiles, wall linings and refractory linings.
Having in place a register detailing the locations and type of SMF materials within a workplace environment will assist with potential exposure and ensure that the relevant levels of controls can be introduced prior to any disturbance or removal likely to release Respirable SMF into the normal atmosphere.
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, Asbestos Removal
, Disposal Services