What’s the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos?

PUBLISHED 30 May 2016

With asbestos such a major health issue in Australia, it is essential to understand exactly what it is and why it's dangerous. As conditions, such as asbestosis, continue to affect Australians, if you come into contact with asbestos, it is essential to talk to both healthcare staff and a compensation lawyer.

But are you aware of the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos and what this means for your health?

Australia a major importer of asbestos

According to the Australian government, the country was a major importer of asbestos products up until the mid-1980s. Between 1930 and 1983 around 1.5 million tonnes of asbestos was directly imported into Australia to be used in residential and commercial building. Consequently, close to one-third of all homes in Australia contain asbestos in some form.

Asbestos is best defined as a category that is composed of six natural mineral fibres that belong to two broad sub-groupings. For a very long time asbestos was valued due to its ability to fill a number of niches as a result of its flexibility and insulation properties.

While all asbestos products are hazardous, some forms are more dangerous than others. Therefore, it is essential to talk to an asbestos lawyer as soon as you are aware you have been exposed to any form of the material.

Friable vs. Non-friable

When asbestos is used in building materials, it is categorised as friable and non-friable.

The latter is any material that contains some level of asbestos and a number of other materials, such as cement. It cannot be easily crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder. This quality makes it safer to the general public.

On the other hand, friable asbestos material is easily crushed making it much more susceptible to the natural forces of erosion and human action. This means that with general wear, asbestos fibres are more likely to become airborne, thus posing a significant risk to public health.

If you have come into contact with either of these materials, it is essential to seek advice from healthcare professionals. Following this, it would pay to talk to an asbestos lawyer who can help you understand your rights in relation to your exposure to this potentially harmful material.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we offer a no win no fee guarantee that can ensure upfront costs do not pose a challenge to your application. Instead, we take remuneration from your successful settlement.

If you would like to know more about the different kinds of asbestos and the impact of these on your health, talk to the experts in asbestos claims. Contact Gerard Malouf and Partners today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.