Asbestos Roofing: Understanding the Risks and Solutions in Auckland

Health Risks of Asbestos Roofing

Asbestos, known for its durability and fire-resistant properties, was widely used in roofing materials. However, its fibres pose significant health risks. When asbestos fibres become airborne, they can be inhaled, leading to serious lung conditions. The risks vary depending on factors like the amount of asbestos in the air, frequency and duration of exposure, and whether one has pre-existing lung conditions or smokes tobacco​​.

Key Health Impacts:

  • Lung Tissue Irritation: Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause them to lodge in the lungs, leading to irritation​​.
  • Asbestosis: This condition involves lung scarring due to asbestos fibre inhalation, making breathing difficult​​.
  • Pleural Disease: It affects the membrane around the lungs and chest cavity, causing thickening or fluid buildup​​.
  • Cancer Risks: Asbestos exposure significantly increases the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma (a rare cancer affecting membranes around the lungs), and potentially other cancers like laryngeal and ovarian cancer​​.

Asbestos in the Auckland Environment

In Auckland, the presence of asbestos in the environment, especially near older buildings with asbestos roofing, can lead to increased exposure risks. The degradation of such materials or disturbances at waste sites can release asbestos fibres into the air​​. For residents of suburbs like Remuera, understanding these risks is crucial, especially if living near older buildings or renovation sites.

Summary Table of Asbestos Health Impacts


Health ImpactDetails
Lung Tissue IrritationInhaling asbestos fibres can lead to these fibres lodging in the lungs, which causes irritation and damage to lung tissues.
AsbestosisThis serious condition is characterized by scarring of lung tissue due to inhaling asbestos fibres. It impairs lung function, making breathing more difficult.
Pleural DiseaseExposure to asbestos can cause changes in the pleura, the membrane surrounding the lungs and chest cavity. This includes thickening of the membrane or fluid accumulation, leading to respiratory issues.
Cancer RisksAsbestos exposure significantly raises the risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer affecting the membranes around the lungs. It may also increase the risk of other cancers such as those of the larynx and ovaries.

Handling Asbestos Roofing

Dealing with asbestos roofing demands careful consideration of health and safety protocols. It’s crucial to note that intact asbestos-containing materials are not inherently dangerous unless the fibres become airborne​​.

Asbestos Roof Removal and Replacement in Auckland:

  • Professional Approach: Companies like My Roofers Auckland emphasize safety and quality in asbestos roof removal and replacement. They use skilled professionals, state-of-the-art equipment, and follow strict safety protocols​​.
  • Inspection and Planning: A comprehensive inspection is done to assess the scope of work and develop an Asbestos Roof Removal plan​​.
  • Safe Removal and Disposal: The process involves minimizing hazards and safely disposing of asbestos-containing materials​​.
  • Roof Replacement Options: Post removal, various roofing materials are offered to suit the specific needs of Auckland properties, ensuring a secure, visually appealing roof​​.

Preventive Measures and Care

Once exposed to asbestos, it’s not possible to remove the fibres from the lungs. However, preventive steps like regular medical exams, vaccinations against respiratory infections, quitting smoking, and avoiding further asbestos exposure can help mitigate risks​​.

In summary, while asbestos roofing poses significant health risks, understanding these risks and engaging professionals for removal and replacement can ensure the safety of Auckland residents. For those living in areas like Remuera or undertaking roofing projects, consulting experts like My Roofers Auckland is a wise step towards managing these risks effectively.

Key Takeaways on Asbestos Roofing

Health Risks Are Significant Asbestos roofing poses serious health risks including lung tissue irritation, asbestosis, pleural disease, and an increased risk of various cancers.

Professional Removal is Crucial Due to the hazardous nature of asbestos, professional removal and replacement of asbestos roofing are essential for safety.

Awareness of Exposure is Important Understanding the risks and symptoms of asbestos exposure is crucial for timely intervention and health management.

No Safe Level of Exposure All levels of asbestos exposure are considered risky, emphasizing the importance of safe handling and removal.

Alternatives to Asbestos Roofing Available Safer and modern alternatives to asbestos roofing are available and should be considered for new installations or replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos Roofing

What is Asbestos Roofing?

Asbestos roofing refers to roofing materials that contain asbestos fibres, commonly used for its durability and fire resistance.

Why is Asbestos Roofing Harmful?

Asbestos roofing is harmful because inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to serious lung conditions, including asbestosis, pleural disease, and increased cancer risks.

Can I Remove Asbestos Roofing Myself?

It is strongly advised not to remove asbestos roofing yourself due to the health risks involved. Professional removal with strict safety protocols is recommended.

How is Asbestos Roofing Professionally Removed?

Professionals use specialized equipment and follow strict safety and disposal guidelines to minimize the risk of asbestos fibre release during removal.

What Are the Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure?

Symptoms include breathing difficulties, persistent cough, and changes detectable by x-ray, such as lung scarring.

Is There a Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure?

No safe lower limit of exposure has been identified; all asbestos exposure is considered to add to the overall risk of disease.

What Should I Do if I Have Asbestos Roofing?

Consult a professional for an assessment and consider having it safely removed and replaced, especially if the roofing is deteriorating.

Can Asbestos in Roofing Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Yes, if asbestos fibres become airborne, they can infiltrate indoor spaces and affect air quality.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Asbestos Exposure?

Long-term effects can include chronic respiratory issues, asbestosis, and increased risks of various cancers.

Are There Alternatives to Asbestos Roofing?

There are many safer alternatives, such as longrun roofing and colorsteel products, which professionals can advise on.

How Often Should I Inspect My Asbestos Roof?

Regular inspections are recommended, especially if the roofing is old or showing signs of wear.

What Precautions Should Be Taken Around Asbestos Roofing?

Avoid disturbing the roofing, and if renovation or demolition is planned, engage professionals for safe handling and disposal.