More than a third of Australian homes contain asbestos which is most commonly found in fibro building products.
Any house or apartment built or renovated before the mid 1980s (even brick) will most likely contain asbestos in some form.
Asbestos is not restricted to fibro homes – it can be also found in brick, weatherboard or cladding in bathrooms, kitchens, laundries, garages, ceilings, behind tiles and under carpet or linoleum.
We have prepared some general information about asbestos and its safe removal.
Where is asbestos found?
Until the early 1980s, asbestos was commonly used in:
- Fibro cement sheeting (flat and corrugated)
- Drainage and flue pipes
- Roofing, guttering and flexible building boards (e.g. Villaboard, Hardiflex, etc)
- Similar cement sheeting products are used today, but are 'asbestos free'.
Types of asbestos
Friable or dusty asbestos
Friable asbestos is any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder, or can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.
Non friable, stabilised or bonded asbestos
Non friable asbestos is any product where the asbestos is bonded with a cement or resin binder that makes it more stable. It cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.
Disposal of asbestos
Individuals can remove up to 10 square metres (10 sqm) of bonded asbestos. We recommend you visit the Asbestos Awareness website for home renovators to ensure any work is undertaken in the correct way.
For sizes greater than this a licensed contractor must be used.
All friable or unstable asbestos must also be disposed of through a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
For information about available contractors visit the Safe Work NSW website or check with industry or professional association such as Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA) on (02) 8586 3521.
Asbestos waste can only be disposed of at certain waste sites and must be booked in for disposal at least one day before disposing of the waste.
To find where you can dispose of asbestos, visit the Facilities that Accept Asbestos - EPA Website
Reporting asbestos issues
If you would like to report an incident relating to asbestos please call your closest Customer Service Centre.
If your concerns relate to the removal or disposal of asbestos being carried out by a licensed contractor, please report to Safe Work NSW.
Further links and resources