Asbestos is a material that was used widely in construction.If the asbestos fibres are enclosed or tightly bound in a compound, there is no significant health risk. Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air that people breathe.People working in construction, maintenance or the renovation of older buildings should be particularly careful when handling asbestos. Never sand or fine-scrape surfaces containing asbestos fibres.During renovations and repairs to older buildings, construction workers, trades-people and other building maintenance workers may be exposed to high concentrations of fibres.It is imperative that trades-people are trained in the proper handling of asbestos-containing materials.
Because it is a valuable reinforcing, insulating and fireproofing material, asbestos was used widely in construction materials such as insulation board, asbestos cement, drywall fillers, loose-fill vermiculite insulation, floor tiles and some ceiling tiles. These products are dense and do not release significant amounts of fibres under normal use.However, fibres may be released if these products are sanded or scraped.