If you are proposing to carry out renovations in the Shoalhaven and your house was constructed or renovated prior to the mid 1980’s it is likely that the building will contain some materials that contain asbestos.
Examples of building materials that may contain asbestos include:
- Fibro sheeting
- Fibrous cement roofing
- Vinyl tiles
- Drainage and flue pipes
Asbestos materials may also be present in lagging used around pipes and in stoves and electrical meter boxes.
Cutting, sanding, drilling grinding, breaking or otherwise disturbing materials containing asbestos may release harmful fibres into the air. This is particularly the case where power tools are used but medical evidence suggests that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres.
Asbestos fibres can be also released into the air when asbestos products are incorrectly handled, removed or transported for disposal.
Asbestos is a versatile product which withstands heat, erosion and decay and has fire and water resistant properties. Because of its superior insulation and strength properties it was used in more than 3000 different applications before being outlawed in 2004.
The NSW Government has developed some practical information specifically for renovators and homeowners working with fibro and asbestos.
For information on handling and storage of asbestos waste at worksites, WorkCover NSW (new window) under the current provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 are the regulatory authority.
For the safe disposal of asbestos waste and permitted landfill locations NSW EPA (new window) provide detailed information.