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Anxiety after possible asbestos exposure and children



New member
Jul 3, 2021

I am writing here to ask for help/advice over what may well be a mental health issue since I am struggling with something and is consuming my life with worry.

Last week builders cut through some asbestos chrysolite cement boards outside my children's window, they were closed but old wooden windows with dodgy old plastic seals. The cuts were about 30cm away. I have since done an unhealthy amount of research on asbestos and spoken to a number of people, I appreciate if there was any kind of asbestos to be exposed to it is the white/chrysolite asbestos but even still there is no safe recommended limit. I am also aware that most conditions are related to prolonged exposure but there are cases where only a small exposure had shown to be harmful.
I had a company in to do a reassurance air test in the room which came back with a low count of fibres but that does not mean there aren't any but are at a level considered 'safe' after asbestos disturbance. I have also had a few dust samples from room tested and no fibres found, again doesn't mean none in the room.
I have also been told that highly unlikely any got through windows but this is mainly said by people reassuring me who also went on to say some incorrect things on asbestos.
As you can probably tell I don't seem to be able to accept that any fibres got in the room, I have been consumed by this and worry constantly that I have harmed my children, I am having what I think are anxiety issues with heart pumping and constant stress.
I have read that many worse things can happen to children over their life but the thought I have introduced something by doing the renovation is eating me up.
I guess I don't need any advice on the asbestos front as nothing will convince me none got in and that whatever got in could be harmful what I do need advice on is how to attempt to move on, I feel I have been given a lifelong curse of worry not knowing if at some point in future they will develop cancer.
My partner who appreciates tests done doesn't necessarily mean there are no fibres but is not worried and says she will deal with it when it happens and won't spend her life worrying about something that might not happen but I can't get over the harm that has been unnecessarily done,
Any help/advice greatly appreciated as I am literally going out of my mind with worry. I would not say I have had an issue like this in past but am prone to worry a bit but quickly get over things unlike this.


Well-known member
Jul 8, 2019
I think this sort of thing is a matter of perspective.

Back in the 1980's I worked as an accident investigator so attended a fair number of Health & Safety presentations and I recall going to one about asbestos. At the start of the presentation the speaker asked those who thought they has asbestos fibres in their lungs to raise their hands. I, along with a couple of others, raised my hand. The speaker then asked everyone else to raise their hands because everyone in the room would have asbestos fibres in their lungs.

I had raised my hand because I was raised in a world where asbestos was everywhere and I came from a poor family where I saw ragged asbestos on ironing boards, in ovens etc. Even vehicle brake shoes had asbestos content and would have released fibres into the air.

Now, I know that the world is a different place in 2021 and asbestos is not used in such products these days, however, we are still surrounded by the stuff due to legacy issues.

I'm not trying to say that there isn't a risk from asbestos but I do feel that I would look upon casual exposure to a few fibres in the same way that I would look upon all of the other risks I run every day. A matter of my personal perspective.


Well-known member
May 30, 2019
We used to have an asbestos shed in Australia in the early 70s, and an asbestos roof on a shed in the late 70s. My father used to saw it up, but never developed anything.

Undercloaking on houses reroofed in the 60s and 70s is often asbestos.

I was worried for my own health for a while (it's still in the back on my mind), but after seeing many people with exposure to it being fine, it kind of left my mind.

Rolf Harris, for example, used to have a holiday job in Wittendoon asbestos mine when he was a student. That was almost 80 years ago, and he seems fine.

All this was white asbestos.
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