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Understanding Asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos can be described as a naturally-occurring fibrous silicate mineral. Asbestos has the ability to withstand heat, erosion and decay and has fire and water resistant properties and due to these it is considered a versatile product.

When asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in it becomes a health risk.

There are two types of Asbestos building materials and they can be described as either “non-friable” or “friable”.

Non-friable Asbestos

These can be described as any material (other than friable asbestos) that contains asbestos. It cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.

Non-friable asbestos uses in buildings include:

  • flat (fibro)
  • corrugated or compressed asbestos cement sheets
  • water, drainage and flue pipes
  • floor tiles

Bonded Asbestos become friable asbestos material, if fire, hail, or direct activities such as water blasting and drilling damages them.

Friable Asbestos

These can be described as any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.

was not commonly used in the home and was mainly used in industrial applications such as:

  • pipe lagging
  • sprayed limpet
  • asbestos cloth and rope.

Only a licensed asbestos removalist with a friable asbestos license can remove Friable Asbestos.

It is Important for you to know about Asbestos Health Risks and Safety Requirements. Here are some tips and facts.

  • Even you may ensure that you follow the regulations and safety requirements to remove small amounts of asbestos by yourself, it is recommended to use a licensed asbestos removal professional who is equipped to protect you and your family from the dangers of asbestos dust.
  • A complete ban of asbestos and its products in Australia became effective in 2003.
  • Most of you are unable to tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them. Only scientific testing of a sample of material by an accredited National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) asbestos testing laboratory can confirm the presence of asbestos. For a NATA Lab List call 1800 621 666 or refer to their website. When searching for an asbestos testing facility use a capital A in Asbestos.
  • If you have any doubt when working in and around the home or renovating, assume you are dealing with asbestos and take every precaution.
  • Hire a licensed Asbestos removal contractor to remove asbestos from your premises. That is the safest way to manage the removal of asbestos.
  • Where asbestos fibres are friable (loose and not bonded into building materials), only licenced friable asbestos removalists are allowed to remove it.
  • Ensure you take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself and minimise the release of dust or small particles from the asbestos materials that may affect others including children, if you do need to work with any material that may contain asbestos.

Our Asbestos Safety Consultants have been involved in the Building and Construction industry for over 20 years and are experts in the field of Asbestos identification. Our cost effective solutions involve a detailed site inspection followed by the compilation of a site specific report which includes photographic evidence. Where Asbestos is suspected we are able to extract a sample and send the sample to an approved laboratory for testing and confirmation of Asbestos. In addition to our Asbestos Report, we can provide an Asbestos Management Plan, labelling of Asbestos and the installation of an approved documentation storage cabinet. Contact us to arrange your Asbestos Audit.