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Question
Posted by: Tim Newman | 2010/02/02

Asbestos patio roof in rental property

We have lived in a rental property for 2 years before discovering a patio roof is made of asbestos. We would describe the roof as in " OK"  condition (there are a couple of visible cracks in it). The room adjoining the patio is going to be our nursery (our baby is due in 4 weeks). We have advised landlord it needs to be safely removed and this is being actioned. Our questions are:

1) How do we tell if we have been exposed to asbestos (we frequently left the patio doors open to provide a draft through the house) or rather - how do we tell how badly we have been exposed? What can we do now for a record of this if we develop problems in the future?

2) Will it be safe after the asbestos is removed for the room to be used as a nursery? (I understand this is being done by a registered company with all safety precautions etc.)

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEnviroHealth expert

You're quite right to be concerned about this but you can feel assured that you have not had dangerous exposure; most people breathe in tiny amounts of asbestos at some point in their lives, whether they have asbestos in their patio roof or not, and this is not associated with increased risk for asbestosis and other related diseases. You might be at slightly increased risk (although even this is debatable) if you tried to remove the roof yourself without taking all necessary precautions. But it sounds like you are using professionals. If you wish, email me the company's name and I can check on them too. I think the room will be safe to use as a nursery, as long as it's a pro job and the premises are left spotless: reducing dust in the home (anyone's) is a good basic preventative measure to reduce the risk of inhaling asbestos fibres and toxins generally. You won't need it in future, but you will have a record of the presence of asbestos because the removal company will give you documentation. There are tests to tell if you have asbestos fibres in your body, but they would not be recommended in your case and wouldn't indicate the exposure level (which would be negligible in any case). You might want to also post your question to one of our occupational health experts for additional reassurance.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: EnviroHealth Expert | 2010/05/17

It''s not dangerous as long as it''s not too old and eroded, and if it doesn''t get broken - as might happen when it''s removed. For this reason asbestos cement is sometimes sealed, not removed. But it would need to be professionally inspected before you can make that decision. It''s not nonsense for people to be concerned, especially parents of young children.

Reply to EnviroHealth Expert
Posted by: John | 2010/03/12

Bull nonsence.
" Asbestos"  roof is not dangerous as it is an " asbestos cement" . Manufacturing the plate is another story.
By removing the roof you can kill yourself by falling off.
The same for " asbestos cement"  heaters, not dangerous.


Reply to John
Posted by: EnviroHealth Expert | 2010/02/05

You're quite right to be concerned about this but you can feel assured that you have not had dangerous exposure; most people breathe in tiny amounts of asbestos at some point in their lives, whether they have asbestos in their patio roof or not, and this is not associated with increased risk for asbestosis and other related diseases. You might be at slightly increased risk (although even this is debatable) if you tried to remove the roof yourself without taking all necessary precautions. But it sounds like you are using professionals. If you wish, email me the company's name and I can check on them too. I think the room will be safe to use as a nursery, as long as it's a pro job and the premises are left spotless: reducing dust in the home (anyone's) is a good basic preventative measure to reduce the risk of inhaling asbestos fibres and toxins generally. You won't need it in future, but you will have a record of the presence of asbestos because the removal company will give you documentation. There are tests to tell if you have asbestos fibres in your body, but they would not be recommended in your case and wouldn't indicate the exposure level (which would be negligible in any case). You might want to also post your question to one of our occupational health experts for additional reassurance.

Reply to EnviroHealth Expert

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