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Under Public Health Regulation 2005, Asbestos means the asbestiform varieties of mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine or amphibole groups of rock-forming minerals, including the following;
There are two types of asbestos containing material (ACM): friable (loosley bound) ACM (ie. insulation, sound or heat proofing material) or bonded ACM (ie, fibro sheeting)
Bonded ACM means ACM, other than friable ACM, that contains a bonding compound reinforced with asbestos fibres. E.g. asbestos cement pipes, flat or corrugated asbestos cement sheets consisting of sand and cement reinforced with asbestos fibres.
Friable ACM means ACM that, when dry, can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure.
Asbestos is a versatile product that was used in a wide variety of applications due to its flexibility, strength, heat and electrical insulation properties, and its chemical inertness.
As a result, asbestos products are widespread throughout the community. Some of its applications around the home are:
Other applications include telecommunications pits, car parts, fire proofing and blankets, filters.
Australia was one of the highest users in the world until the mid-1980's when asbestos began to be gradually phased out. A total ban on the use, import and storage of all forms of asbestos came into effect in December 2003.
If your house was built before the mid-1980's it is likely that it has asbestos-containing products.
If your house was built between the mid-1980's and 1990 it is likely that it has asbestos-containing products.
If your home was built after 1990 it is less likely that it has asbestos-containing products, however any house constructed prior to the implementation of the total ban in December 2003 may have asbestos-containing products.
Asbestos products are safe as long as they are not deteriorated, disturbed or broken.
Exposure to asbestos can cause:
The Public Health Act 2005 governs asbestos risks. Council deals with domestic asbestos issues involving less than ten (10) square meters. Other asbestos removal such as large quantities or professional building sites are to be referred to Queensland Health (07) 3234 0111 or Workplace Health and Safety 1300 362 128 respectively.
For more information on asbestos for home renovators please visit the Queensland Government website.
To log a request or for further information about this topic please contact Environmental Services on 4776 4607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.