How To Identify Asbestos ?

Asbestos is a generic name given to a group of fibrous silicate materials that occur naturally in the environment.

Due to its unique combination of flexibility, tensile strength, insulation and chemical inertness it became widely used in the industry for many decades.

Materials containing asbestos were very common in the Australian residential building industry between the 1940’s and the late 1980’s. It was not until 31 December, 2003 that asbestos and all products containing asbestos were banned throughout Australia.

Asbestos has been used in a wide variety of products and may still be found in many products. Some examples include:

Asbestos cement sheeting (can be found in wall structures, roofs, fences)

Fire protecting material

Ceiling and floor tiles

Gaskets, paints and sealants

Pipes, guttering & eaves

Electrical switchboards

The two types of asbestos are Friable and Non-Friable.

Friable is used to refer to materials containing asbestos that can easily be reduced to powder by hand when dry.Non-Friable asbestos is used to refer to materials containing asbestos where it is firmly bound in the matrix of the material.

When handled incorrectly and no precautions are taken, exposure to Asbestos can lead to serious illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer to name a few.

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