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How to save elderly family members from harmful asbestos

How to save your elderly family members from harmful asbestos

As New Zealand’s age demographics quickly change, there are now more grandparents than children. Currently, the country’s population is almost at 5 million. About 1.5 million of the people are aged 50 and above, and there are projections that this number will reach 2 million ten years from now.

Because of this, our society needs to prepare for the care of this age group. They are definitely expected to have a wider range of special needs. Retirement villages and rest homes are available to meet the needs of the increasing number of elderly people in New Zealand.

Retirement homes and elderly communities built after the year 2000 should be free of asbestos-containing materials. Houses built before this date, on the other hand, are required to have a long-term asbestos management plan in place.

Governments worldwide are now trying to regulate the presence of asbestos in buildings and elsewhere. However, older homes or houses rented by people over 65 are still likely to have materials containing asbestos fibres.

Chemcare, a specialist asbestos removal company, confirms that much of the work it carries out is in homes of people nearing the age of retirement or older.

When people age, kitchens, bathrooms, stairs, and walk-in showers are usually replaced to keep the inhabitants safer. Before these usual alterations are carried out, any materials or areas containing asbestos need to be tested, identified, and removed under safety regulations.

Asbestos continues to be the top workplace killer in New Zealand, with an estimated 170 people dying from the long-term effects of inhaling the fibres each year. Among the fatalities are usually people in trade professions such as building, plumbing, electrical and fire-firefighting. The asbestos are usually airborne in their work locations.

However, occasional domestic accidents can also occur, usually when occupants of properties are unaware of asbestos exposure. The fibres are so small that when inhaled, they lodge themselves in lung tissue and over time, causing respiratory problems which are often fatal.

Elderly people can be exposed to asbestos when undertaking home handyman renovations, drilling, hammering, or sawing materials which may contain asbestos.

They can also be affected if they accidentally slip or fall, and damage walls or flooring in the process, which might release the dangerous fibres.

These plans recognise that as long as asbestos building materials remain well maintained and undisturbed, the lethal fibres cannot harm anybody.

If you live with an elderly loved one or are planning to send your elderly to a rest home, make sure that you know these regulations surrounding asbestos. Make sure that the building they’ll be dwelling in follows a comprehensive asbestos management plan.

If you can confirm that asbestos is present in your property, get in touch with a company like Chemcare, which provides asbestos removal services to ensure the safety of residential and commercial buildings in New Zealand.


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