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Asbestos Resources: Know It Better To Keep You Safe

Provided here is a wide range of links, information, and resources for the safe handling of asbestos material in the Greater Brisbane Region.

List of asbestos resources:

  1. What is asbestos?
  2. Types of asbestos
  3. Why is asbestos dangerous?
  4. Asbestos in the Greater Brisbane Region
  5. Products containing asbestos
  6. Where you can find asbestos in your home?
  7. Asbestos regulations
  8. What should I do if I find asbestos on my property?
  9. Transfer stations and Authorized Landfill for asbestos waste
  10. Who do I contact for further information about asbestos?

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a generic name for a number of silicate fiber minerals that is naturally formed in the environment. This fiber substance was widely utilized as building construction material and commercial products. The benefits of fibrous substance that attract the industry are;[1]

  1. Stability when heated,
  2. Chemical resistance,
  3. Strength under pressure,
  4. Water resistance or absorbency (depending on the type of fiber substance),
  5. Suitability for reinforcing and weaving,
  6. Electrical resistance.

Due to those desired abilities, the asbestos material is then widely mined and manufactured. It became one of the substances which is massively utilized as building construction material. As a result, many Australian residential buildings employed material containing a fibrous substance, particularly between the 1940s and late 1980s before the productions of this tiny substance are stopped.

Types of Asbestos

The most frequent types of asbestos that were extensively used in a wide range of products are:

  1. Chrysotile.
  2. Crocidolite.
  3. Amosite.

The commercial type of asbestos-containing material (ACM):

  1. Friable is the type of asbestos which can crumble easily to powder when crushed by hand. This type of ACM contains high percentages of fibres. If it is disturbed, more prone will go airborne and contaminate the environment, which poses a greater risk to health.
    Friable ACM must only be removed by an ‘A’ class licensed asbestos removalist.
  2. Non-friable (bonded). This type is commonly composed of fiber substance which is firmly bonded to other hardening material, like cement. Mostly contain up to 15% of fiber element. Non-friable is the type of ACM that is unlikely to go airborne easily and pose a lower risk to health. A ‘B’ class licensed asbestos removalist is capable of removing the non-friable or bonded ACM.

 

Before removing any asbestos products, you need to consider which removalist you want to hire.

Further information on asbestos removalist licenses; – safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Why is asbestos dangerous?

 

why is asbestos dangerous
Click here to enlarge the image.

Asbestos problems in the Greater Brisbane Region

Asbestos Roofing Material

The utilization of asbestos roofing material is one of the common issues regarding of the hazardous substance in the Greater Brisbane Region. Based on GRP research, there are 4.615 residential buildings and 343 commercial properties with asbestos roofs.

The danger level is high in Brisbane as it has quite extreme weather patterns. Brisbane is one of the areas that has a humid subtropical climate. Thunderstorms, hail stones, torrential rain, and destructive winds are common over this region.

 

Links and reports that show the extreme weather in Brisbane area can damage your roof and property;

“More than 13,000 homes were without power, roofs were strewn across backyards and Doomben races had been abandoned as storms tore through Brisbane before moving off the coast.” – Brisbanetimes.

“Severe thunderstorm blows roof off home, cuts power to 10,000 properties around Brisbane” – abc.net.au

 

That’s why for the sake of yourself and your family, it’s better to remove and replace your asbestos roof with an asbestos-free material. Contact our professionals to guide you in achieving the right result.

 

Further information on how to take care your asbestos cement roofs; – deir.qld.gov.au

 

Mishandling of asbestos material  

Asbestos fiber is a hazardous substance. Due to its nature, you need to handle the asbestos material with utmost care. Mishandling or unsafely handle asbestos material can endanger your lives and surrounding environment.

For that reason, it’s important to keep your environment free from asbestos contamination.

According Brisbane local council regulations, here are some things you can do;

If you think a home renovator, homeowner or owner-builder is unsafely handling, removing, transporting asbestos material or dumping asbestos waste illegally, you must contact Brisbane local council.

If you believe a contractor or business at a commercial property mishandles asbestos material, reach the Queensland Department of Justice and the Attorney-General (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland) on 1300 369 915.

Further information on complaints about asbestos in Brisbane area – brisbane.qld.gov.au

 

One of the problems regarding mishandle asbestos is illegal dumping. Many asbestos waste dumped illegally in Brisbane area. This is a dangerous situation. Asbestos still can penetrate through the soil and it may danger yourself and your family.

Every year, half a million dollars of ratepayers’ money is allocated on cleaning up illegally dumped waste in the Greater Brisbane Region. This illegal dumping has some serious impacts, such as damaging infrastructure and the natural environment, decreasing property values, and causing chemical and physical pollution in the neighborhoods and waterways [2].

How to stop illegal dumping – brisbane.qld.gov.au – illegal-dumping

Why is illegal dumping dangerous? -> ehp.qld.gov.au

 

Products containing asbestos

General products

  1. Fiber Gaskets
  2. Vinyl products
  3. Asbestos sheets
  4. Fire proofing & prevention materials
    Electrical cloth & electrical panel partition
Construction material

  1. Insulation material
  2. Floor backing & drywall taping compounds
  3. Ductwork connectors & flexible duct connectors
  4. Adhesives and gold bond adhesives

 

Where you can find asbestos in a home

The vast utilization of asbestos in the Greater Brisbane Region start from residential, commercial building to government properties. Many houses and buildings constructed before 1990 in Brisbane area contain the hazardous material.

And up till the 1960s, 25% of all new housing was clad in asbestos cement in Australia.[3]

(Leigh J. etal. 2002, Malignant Mesothelioma in Australia, 1945-2000).

For that reason, you may need to check the existence of fiber substance on your property.

asbestos in a home or a building property

Asbestos regulations

On 31 December 2003, materials containing all forms of asbestos were no longer able to be sold, used, reused, manufactured, imported, supplied, stored, transported, installed or replaced in Australia (Safe Work Australia 2010b).[4]

For that reason, it’s important to check and determine whether your property contains asbestos material or not. Before conducting any works, check your local council website to learn more about the dangerous substance. Every works or activities involving the substance are regulated by law.

Further information on Asbestos Laws and Compliance – worksafe.qld.gov.au

 

What should I do if I find asbestos on my property?

If you encounter asbestos material on your property, then Do Not Touch the material! As has been said, asbestos is a hazard if it’s disturbed or damaged. A damaged or disturbed ACM can produce particles which contain the tiny fibers. 

Thus, if the ACM on your property is in good condition, the safest way to handle the material is to leave it undisturbed. However, visually inspecting the asbestos material regularly for deterioration and damage is required.

Before removing the ACM, consider these following points:

  1. Is it safe to simply leave the ACM alone (if it’s in good condition)?
  2. Is it safe to remove the asbestos material by yourself? Or Do you need to hire a licensed asbestos removalist?
  3. What is the regulation regarding removing the substance?
  4. What is the requirement of removing the ACM?

Further information on how to safely remove asbestos; worksafe.qld.gov.au – pdf file

Further information on how to manage and control asbestos in the workplace – worksafe.qld.gov.au – pdf file

Transfer stations and Authorized Landfill for asbestos waste in the Greater Brisbane Region

Asbestos disposal is a crucial matter and this activity heavily influenced by the city council laws which is different in every city. Thus, if you are uncertain of the waste location in your area, contact your nearest council.

For Brisbane area, you can contact Brisbane City Council, click here to contact the council directly.

Brisbane Landfill – 174, Gardner Rd Rochedale QLD 4123

Asbestos Disposal Information in the Greater Brisbane Region deir.qld.gov.au – asbestos disposal locations

 

Who do I need to contact for further information about asbestos?

Queensland Government 

For complaints and urgent enquiries,

Contact: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Website: www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ)

WHSQ is the regulator who is responsible for improving work health and safety in Queensland. WHSQ also help to reduce the risk of workers being injured or killed in the workplace. Regarding asbestos material, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) has the capacity to manage, control, and arrange the removal of asbestos in the workplace.

Contact details:

Website: www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/

Tel: 1300 362 128

Regional offices
Brisbane – Office of Industrial Relations

Address:
50 Ann Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Fax:  
+61 7 3247 4059

 

Queensland Health

Public health legislation works on asbestos-related activities which occur at non-workplaces (e.g. by homeowners at domestic premises or residential property). Queensland Health administers the regulation, but the local governments handle responsibility. The local governments are responsible for maintaining and responding to asbestos incidents in residential settings.

Further information – health.qld.gov.au/

 

WorkCover Queensland

WorkCover Queensland is a body which handles and accommodates workers’ compensation insurance for Queensland employers and their workers.

Contact details:

Website: www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/

Email: info@workcoverqld.com.au

 

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) is accountable for overseeing the businesses and individuals in complying and following the Environmental Protection Act 1994. Environmental Protection Act 1994 is a regulation that controls legal obligations on people who do activities that might contaminate the environment.

Public can report illegal asbestos dumping to EHP;

Contact:  13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Address:

400 George St, Brisbane City QLD 4000

Website: www.ehp.qld.gov.au

 

Residential Tenancies Authority

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) focus on tenancy information, bond management, investigation, policy, dispute resolution, and education services.

If you need to complain about asbestos and a rented residential property which is not maintained and handled in good repair can submit the complaint under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act.

Contact details:

Tel: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

 

Brisbane City Council

Brisbane Local Council controls many transfer stations and landfills for asbestos. The local government is also capable of handling and responding to asbestos incidents in non-workplace settings, such as residential properties under public health legislation.

Complaints about asbestos mishandling, contact the Queensland Department of Justice and the Attorney-General (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland) on 1300 369 915.

Website: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/

 

National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)

NATA is the authority who is responsible for the accreditation of laboratories, particularly for identifying and examining the asbestos material. NATA is also capable of creating certified reference materials and testing scheme providers throughout Australia.

Tel: (03) 9329 1633

Website: www.nata.asn.au

NATA-accredited laboratory in Brisbane area,

nata.com.au

References:
[1] http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/general/what-is.htm
[2] https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/environment-waste/rubbish-tips-bins/illegal-dumping
[3] 3Leigh J & Driscoll T 2002. Malignant mesothelioma in Australia, 1945–2002 International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 9(3), 206–217
[4] http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/850/Asbestos%20related%20disease%20indicators%202014.pdf