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Asbestos

Asbestos is present in many buildings constructed before the 1980s.  Generally, the presence of asbestos materials do not pose a health risk unless the material is broken, deteriorating or disturbed in such a way that dust containing asbestos fibres is produced (such as during sanding or sawing).

It is difficult to tell whether a material contains asbestos. The only way to be certain is to have a sample of the material tested in an accredited laboratory. If you do not want to test the material then it should be treated as though it contains asbestos.

Asbestos was used in material such as:

  • Exterior fibre cement cladding (Fibro), weatherboards (pre-1984) and artificial brick cladding
  • All corrugated cement roofing
  • Flue pipes (pre-1988)
  • Vinyl floor tiles or coverings.
  • Ceiling insulation
  • Brakes, clutches and gaskets

As a guide, homes built from 1988 onwards should be asbestos free, while homes built before that may contain significant amounts of asbestos.

Generally, asbestos removal should be undertaken only by a licensed removalist. Unlicensed removal of limited amounts of asbestos is permitted in certain circumstances. To find out more, visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.

Authority

Role

WorkSafe Victoria

For a list of licensed asbestos removalists in your area, complaints regarding work carried out by an asbestos removalist, and enquiries or complaints about asbestos in the workplace

Council’s Healthy Environments Unit

For enquiries or complaints about the incorrect removal of asbestos from a dwelling or disposal/dumping of asbestos in your neighbourhood.

Department of Health Environmental Health Unit 

 For enquiries about the potential health effects of exposure to asbestos

Environment Protection Authority  

For a list of licensed asbestos disposal sites in your areas and enquiries about the correct disposal of asbestos-containing materials

National Association Testing Authorities

To obtain a NATA-accredited laboratory in your area that can identify asbestos

 

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