Asbestos is a very dangerous material – and this is especially true for children, who may not yet understand the risks that can be present in a building that contains asbestos. It is up to their school to ensure that these premises are safe and children are not at risk of exposure, but at home the onus is entirely on you to take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are safe. Here are some of the most important ways to keep your children safe from asbestos.
Understand where in your home is likely to have asbestos
In order to protect your children from the risk of asbestos exposure, you first have to understand a few things about it. Firstly, you need to know exactly where in your house you are likely to find asbestos. Unfortunately, in any home built before 1999 there is a risk that asbestos could be present. It varies from home to home, but the places you are most likely to find asbestos include anywhere with insulation – for example, by pipes and stoves. Asbestos is also found in some older floor tiles and ceiling coverings.
Have a full asbestos survey carried out
It’s important to know that even if you are equipped with this information, it can be almost impossible to tell whether the materials contain asbestos or not. There are many forms of insulation and floor tiles that do not contain asbestos, and you will require professional assistance to understand if asbestos is present. Have a full asbestos survey carried out by a company that is experience in residential asbestos.
Warn them of the dangers
Of course, one of the key ways to protect children from asbestos is to provide them with information and warnings about the dangers. Asbestos is very hazardous substance and the symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses do not present for many years. This means that they need to understand the risks as soon as possible. Educate them on the common places that you’ll find asbestos and what they should do if they think that they have encountered asbestos.
Not attempting to carry out asbestos work yourself
Finally, a word of warning: do not attempt to carry out work on asbestos yourself. On finding out that they have asbestos in their home, some parents think that they should immediately remove the asbestos to eliminate the risk for their children.
Unfortunately, while the intentions are good, this can actually be something that does much more harm than good. Asbestos-containing materials in good condition are not a risk to your children’s health unless they are disturbed. If the materials are unlikely to be disturbed, the best thing you can do is to either leave the asbestos alone or seek professional advice on the best ways to secure it.