asbestos questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which is microscopic in nature. Extremely durable and resistant to breakdown, fire, heat and chemicals, asbestos was used for many years in the production of building materials. In particular, it was used in roof tiles, insulation, flat and corrugated fibro sheeting, floor and wall coverings and had many other uses.

Later it was discovered that asbestos posed a serious and often fatal, health risk and its use dwindled in the 1980’s, eventually becoming banned in Australia in 2003.

What does asbestos look like?

Asbestos comes in all shapes, sizes and colours and is therefore not always easy to identify. Commonly coloured blue, brown or white, it is not always distinguishable as it was often mixed with other materials. The only way to know for sure if a product contains asbestos is to have it tested. If you suspect you may have asbestos or are unsure of a material, it’s safest to assume it is and treat it with the necessary precautions. Call Safe Asbestos Solutions Pty Ltd and we will inspect the material, take a sample if necessary and organise testing and assessment. We can then discuss an asbestos management plan to effectively remove any asbestos containing materials.

Finding asbestos in your home or work environment is not uncommon. If handled correctly by a licensed, experienced and reputable removalist it does not have to present any hazard to health.

How do I know if I have asbestos in my home?

If your house was constructed in the 1980’s or before, it’s quite likely that it may contain some asbestos containing materials. Commonly found in wet areas of houses, ie kitchens, laundries, bathrooms and toilet areas, asbestos products were used in sheeting, coatings and plumbing materials. Also found in areas such as roof eaves and outdoor buildings such as garden sheds and garages.

If you suspect that your property may contain asbestos, please call Safe Asbestos Solutions Pty Ltd for a fair and reasonable assessment and evaluation. Using our extensive experience, we will develop and cost a plan to remove all traces of asbestos that is right for you.

What threat to health does asbestos pose?

Asbestos fibres can have serious effects on your health if inhaled. This is why exposure to airborne asbestos particles pose the greatest risk. These particles may be inhaled and remain in the lungs for some time, causing disease. It can take up to 40 years for the symptoms of some asbestos-related diseases to develop, and once diagnosed it’s often too late to do anything.

Some of the conditions that develop over time are:

  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Pleural disorders
  • Malignant mesothelioma
Where is asbestos found?

A popular building material since the 1950s, asbestos was widely used in homes and commercial buildings until the late 1980’s, when it was finally banned. So if you’re living or working somewhere built or refurbished before 1990, then the chances are it could contain asbestos. Places where asbestos are commonly found include:

  • Asbestos cement sheeting
  • Ceiling and vinyl floor tiles and adhesives
  • Pipe insulation
  • Sprayed and textured coatings
  • Electrical switchboards
  • Wall cladding
  • Cement flues
  • Roof shingles and siding
  • Textured paints
Should I remove the asbestos myself or employ a licensed asbestos removalist?

There are some legal requirements to consider regarding asbestos management, its removal and disposal. Any removal should be done in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos 2nd Edition. The safest way to remove asbestos is to engage the services of a licensed asbestos removal specialist. Call Safe Asbestos Solutions Pty Ltd for the safe and complete removal of asbestos from your home or work environment.

What is a clearance certificate and do I need one?

A thorough clearance inspection needs to be carried out before an asbestos work area can be re-occupied.
This inspection must be undertaken by a qualified assessor, independent from the person (and/or business) who was responsible for the removal work. Following the inspection, a clearance certificate will be issued verifying that the asbestos work area is now safe to return to.

Safe Asbestos Solutions Pty Ltd can provide contact details for a number of assessors within your area. For domestic works we can arrange for this service on your behalf.


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