Asbestos

asbestos.jpgAre you thinking of removing an old asbestos roof or fence?

Asbestos fibre release occurs from natural sources, as well as occurring from extensive industrial and commercial use in the past. The manufacturing and use of asbestos ceased in 1987.

Asbestos is commonly found in materials such as roofing, roof shingles, fencing, cladding, material on floor tiles and vinyl flooring, textured paints and pipes. Laboratory examination of a sample is required to positively identify the presence of asbestos fibres.

Inhalation of asbestos fibres in sufficient quantities may cause a number of diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer or pleural plaque. It is important to note that materials containing asbestos are relatively harmless when left undisturbed as it is bound in a solid cement matrix. It is only when the material is damaged that it may release fibres into the air.

If you are planning on removing over 10 square metres of bonded (non-friable) asbestos, you are required to engage an unrestricted asbestos licence holders or a restricted licensed contractor approved by WorkSafe.

Any person handling asbestos is required to comply with the requirements of the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992.

If you are handling less than 10 square metres of asbestos, please note the following key points and refer to the links below for more information:

  • use adequate personal protective equipment including a respirator (P1 or P2 type), disposable coveralls, safety glasses and disposable gloves;
  • wet the area thoroughly to reduce the number of airborne fibres;
  • do not use power tools to cut through the asbestos;
  • do not use high pressure water hoses or compressed air to clean asbestos sheets;
  • Use vacuum equipment designed to extract asbestos fibres or sweep up any dust residues after thoroughly wetting down;
  • triple wrap asbestos in heavy duty black plastic and clearly label the package 'CAUTION ASBESTOS'. The Dunsborough Waste Facility on Vidler Road, Dunsborough accepts asbestos waste Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 3.30pm. Large quantities must be on a pallet. You are encouraged to give at least half an hour's notice before arriving at the waste facility with asbestos by calling 0417 179 596.

If the information that you are looking for is not here, please phone 9781 0444 and ask to speak to someone in Environmental Health.