Asbestos was widely used as a building material until banned in the 1990s. If you are undertaking work on an older home or commercial property it may contain asbestos materials.
There are two types of asbestos:
- friable (non-bonded) asbestos products contains loosely packed asbestos fibres. These materials are potentially dangerous because asbestos fibres can be easily released into the air.
- non-friable (bonded) asbestos products are usually bonded with cement or a similar material. The asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the product and are not normally released into the air unless they are disturbed, damaged or badly weathered. If these products remain in good condition and are left undisturbed they present no known health risks.
A licence is required to remove more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos-containing material.
Asbestos in homes and workplaces
Asbestos.sa.gov.au provides full details on identifying, managing and disposing of asbestos. The website gives details on licencing requirements and how to protect yourself, co-workers and members of the public from asbestos during the removal process.
When dealing with asbestos you must also refer to the Codes of Practices: