RESOURCES

Access more information about asbestos and related regulations here in our resources section.

List of asbestos resources:

  1. What is asbestos?
  2. Types of asbestos
  3. Why is asbestos dangerous?
  4. Cases related to asbestos in Brisbane
  5. Products containing asbestos
  6. Where asbestos can be found in a building
  7. Regulations governing asbestos
  8. What should I do if I find asbestos on my property?
  9. Transfer stations and authorised Landfill sites for asbestos waste
  10. Government agencies that deal with asbestos

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to a group of six types of silicate minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibres that can be separated into thin, durable threads for use in industrial and commercial applications. For much of the 20th century, asbestos was viewed as the “miracle mineral” due to its various desirable properties. Physical characteristics of asbestos that made it widely used in numerous applications are: [1]

  • Thermal stability,
  • Chemical resistance,
  • Strength under pressure,
  • Water resistance,
  • Suitability for reinforcing and weaving,
  • Electrical resistance.

In Australia, asbestos was commonly used in building materials between the 1940s and the late 1980s. Consequently, many buildings throughout Australia built between this period still contain asbestos until today.


Types of Asbestos

The three types of asbestos that have found significant commercial and industrial uses are:

chrysotile

Chrysotile

Crocidolite

Crocidolite

Amosite

Amosite

 

Asbestos-containing materials fall into two broad categories;

  1. ‘Friable’ is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials that is more prone to damage and can be easily reduced to powder when crushed by hand, when dry. When being disturbed or damaged, friable asbestos-containing materials can release inhalable asbestos fibres into the air and contaminate the environment. Friable asbestos contains more than 1% asbestos by weight. Friable asbestos-containing materials must only be removed by an A-class licensed asbestos removalist.
  2. ‘Non-friable’, or ‘bonded’ asbestos is used to refer to asbestos that is more resistant to damage and abrasion, so is likely to release hazardous fibres into the air. Non-friable asbestos-containing materials cannot be damaged by the human hand and often contain up to 15 per cent asbestos. They are mainly made from asbestos fibres together with a bonding compound (e.g. cement). A B-class licensed asbestos removalist is allowed to remove non-friable asbestos containing materials.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

why is asbestos dangerous

Cases related to asbestos in Brisbane

Asbestos in roofing materials is one of the common issues that most property owners in Brisbane might have faced. This condition is worsen by the fact that Brisbane has quite extreme weather patterns. The Queensland capital has a humid subtropical climate, where natural disasters such as thunderstorms, large hail, torrential rain, and destructive winds become a normal part of Brisbane weather conditions.

Links and reports that show natural incidents and disasters 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.”

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-weather-severe-storms-hit-southeast-after-temperatures-exceed-forecast-20161112-gsnwhu.html

“Severe thunderstorm blows roof off home, cuts power to 10,000 properties around Brisbane”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-03/bom-issue-severe-thunderstorm-warning-for-brisbane/7898934

This is why, to protect your family and employees, you are advised to replace your asbestos roof with a new asbestos-free roof. Contact us if you need an asbestos roof removal and replacement service.

Further information on how to take care of asbestos cement roofs;

http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/resources/pdfs/cleaning-asbestos-cement-roofs.pdf

Asbestos is a carcinogenic substance and threatens human health. Due to its nature, you need to handle asbestos materials with care. Mishandling of asbestos can cause it to release fibres at an accelerated pace, endanger your lives and contaminate the environment.

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

According to the local regulations, here are few steps you can do to minimise asbestos contamination:

  • If you believe a home renovator, homeowner or owner-builder is unsafely handling, removing, or transporting asbestos material or a person has illegally dumped asbestos waste, contact the Brisbane Local Council.
  • If you believe a contractor, business or an occupant at a commercial premise, is unsafely handling, removing or transporting asbestos materials, contact the Queensland Department of Justice and the Attorney-General (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland) on 1300 369 915.

Another major concern related to asbestos mishandling is illegal dumping. The government is concerned that some renovators and contractors are not handling and disposing of asbestos waste in a safe and lawful manner.

Every year, half a million dollars of ratepayers’ money is spent on cleaning up illegally dumped waste in the Greater Brisbane Region. Even more money is spent on fixing infrastructure and natural areas impacted by illegal dumping.

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;

https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/environment-waste/rubbish-tips-bins/illegal-dumping

Why is illegal dumping dangerous?

https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/waste/illegal_dumping.html


Products containing asbestos

General products

  • Fiber Gaskets
  • Vinyl products
  • Asbestos sheets
  • Fire proofing & prevention materials
  • Electrical cloth & electrical panel partition

Construction material

  • Insulation material
  • Floor backing & drywall taping compounds
  • Ductwork connectors & flexible duct connectors
  • Adhesives and gold bond adhesives

 


Where you can find asbestos in a home

Asbestos was widely used in residential, commercial building and government properties throughout Australia. Many houses and buildings built before 1990 in Brisbane are highly likely to contain asbestos.

Up until 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).

asbestos resources


Regulations governing asbestos

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.

For that reason, it’s important to check and determine whether your property has asbestos or not. Before conducting any work on asbestos, check the local council website to learn more about this dangerous substance.

Further information about regulations governing asbestos:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/laws-and-compliance/workplace-health-and-safety-laws/laws-and-legislation/codes-of-practice


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

If you think there may be asbestos materials in your house, don’t panic. Look for signs such as abrasions, tears, or water damage.

Asbestos materials that aren’t disturbed or damaged are not likely to pose a health risk. Often, the best thing to do is to leave the material alone if it is in good condition. An asbestos material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed will not release asbestos fibres.

Asbestos materials may release fibres when they are damaged, disturbed, repaired, removed improperly, torn, cut, sawed, sanded, scraped or drilled. Keep an eye on asbestos materials and visually check them over time for signs of damage or wear.

Further information on how to safely remove asbestos;

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/58194/how-to-safely-remove-asbestos-cop-2011.pdf


Transfer stations and Authorized Landfill sites for asbestos waste

Asbestos waste is classified as hazardous and must be disposed of properly. Before any asbestos removal or demolition work, you should identify which waste facility is licensed by the EPA for disposal of asbestos waste. Hazardous waste transfer stations can accept asbestos waste and then arrange to have it disposed of at an authorised landfill site.

For more information about the disposal of asbestos waste, contact the Brisbane city council.

Brisbane Landfill – 174, Gardner Rd Rochedale QLD 4123

Click here: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/removal/transport-and-disposal-of-asbestos-waste/asbestos-disposal-locations.htm


Government agencies that deal with asbestos

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency

Asbestos Safety and Eradiation Agency was established to give a national focus about the issues of asbestos that go beyond workplace safety that include environmental as well as public health concerns.

Contact

Website: https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/

ABN: 50 802 255 175
Level 10, 255 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
Email:    enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au
Phone:   1300 326 148
Fax:       (02) 6204 2029

National Asbestos Exposure Register

This is the register created by the Australian government that documents the members’ details of the community that believe they might have been exposed to asbestos. It is managed by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

Contact

Website: https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/national-asbestos-exposure-register

ABN: 50 802 255 175
Level 10, 255 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
Email:    enquiries@asbestossafety.gov.au
Phone:   1300 326 148
Fax:       (02) 6204 2029

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work is a statutory body of the Australian government that was established in 2008.Safe Work develops national policy associated to WHS and also worker’s compensation.

Contact

Website: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/

Email: info@swa.gov.au

Postal address

Safe Work Australia

GPO Box 641

Canberra ACT 2601

Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Inc. (AIOH)

It is a premier professional association of Australia that represent the interests of occupational hygienists. Also, it promotes and preserves the health and wellbeing of workers of Australian using the knowledge, practice and also standing of occupational health as well as occupational hygiene.

Contact

Website: https://www.aioh.org.au/

Postal Address

Unit 2, 8-12 Butler Way / PO Box 1205

Tullamarine Victoria 3043

Australia

Phone: +61 3 9338 1635

Email: admin@aioh.org.au

National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia

It is the authority providing independent assurance of technical competence using a proven network of qualified practice industry experts for customers requiring confidence in the in their products and services delivery.

Contact

Website: http://www.nata.com.au

Phone: (03) 9274 8200 or 1800 621 666

Head office

Sydney

PO Box 7507,

Silverwater, NSW, 2128

Department of the Environment and Energy

This department both designs and implements the policy and programs of the Australian Government. The programs include to protect and also conserve the environment, water as well as heritage, provide sufficient, reliable and affordable energy, and promote climate action.

Contact

Website: http://www.environment.gov.au/

Office

King Edward Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600
Australia

Postal address

GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Australia

Environment Protection Authority (EPA)

The main regulator of environment policies and issues in Australia. The purpose of this agency is to enhance the performance of environment and waste management.

EPA NSW

Contact

Website: http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/

Phone: 131 555 (or (02) 9995 5555 from outside NSW).

Email info@environment.nsw.gov.au (please state what you are enquiring about in the subject line).

Post your query to EPA Head Office, PO Box A290, Sydney South, NSW 1232.

Fax: (02) 9995 5999.

EPA South Australia

Contact

Website: http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/

Phone-local call: (08) 8204 2004

Freecall-non-metropolitan: 1800 623 445

Fax: (08) 8124 4670

Email: epainfo@sa.gov.au

EPA Western Australia

Contact

Website: http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/

Office Address

Level 4 The Atrium 168 St Georges Terrace Perth

Western Australia 6000

Phone: +61-8-6364 7000

Email: info.epa@dwer.wa.gov.au

Postal address:

Environmental Protection Authority Locked Bag 33, Cloister Square Perth Western Australia 6850

EPA Victoria

Contact

Website: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/

Phone: 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC)

Email: contact@epa.vic.gov.au

Head office

Address: 200 Victoria Street,Carlton, 3053

DX Mail

DX210082

ABN 85 899 617 894

Postal address

GPO Box 4395 Melbourne Victoria 3001

EPA Northern Territory

Contact

Website: https://ntepa.nt.gov.au/

Phone: 08 8924 4218

Email: ntepa@nt.gov.au

Location: Level 2, Arnhemica House, 16 Parap Rd, Parap

Postal Address: GPO Box 3675, Darwin NT 0801

Fax: 08 8942 6554

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]Leigh J & Driscoll T 2002. Malignant mesothelioma in Australia, 1945–2002 International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 9(3), 206–217

http://asbestosresearch.org.au/?page_id=2953

http://www.asbestos.vic.gov.au/about-asbestos/finding-and-identifying/finding-and-identifying-asbestos-tool/find-and-identify-asbestos-in-the-home/bathroom-and-laundry

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

https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/environment-waste/rubbish-tips-bins/asbestos