Asbestos

Risk factors for developing asbestos-related diseases

A guide for householders and the general public

Page last updated: 06 March 2013

Total number of fibres breathed in

The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease increases in proportion to the number of asbestos fibres a person breathes in during their life. This, in turn, depends on how many fibres are breathed in and how often.

Number of fibres breathed in during each exposure (the dose)






The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease increases when a larger number of fibres is breathed in.

The number of times a person is exposed over time (‘cumulative dose’ or ‘lifetime exposure’ )

Very occasional exposure to a larger number of asbestos fibres (e.g. unsafe home renovation or demolition next door) poses a risk to your health ...




But frequent exposure to a larger number of asbestos fibres (e.g. builder or tradesperson using unsafe techniques) is much more likely to pose a risk to your health.



For practical purposes all types of asbestos (white, brown and blue) should be treated as equally hazardous