Asbestos fibres are microscopic. When they are released into the air, they can be inhaled and penetrate deep into the lungs. Once they are there, the fibres cannot be coughed up, removed, or absorbed by the body’s defence cells.
Although the fibres are tiny, they still cause damage over time. The more fibres there are in the lungs, the faster the damage builds up.
If asbestos materials are in a good condition and not disturbed, there is very little chance that fibres will become airborne.
However, if materials are in poor condition or fragile, fibres may be released into the air. Fibres can also be released during demolition and maintenance work.