What is asbestos?
(provided as part of the Asbestos Info initiative)

Most people think about asbestos as that material on the outside of your home - wall sheeting, eaves, carport ceilings, corrugated roofing and fencing. It was used extensively on the inside of your home - as the sheeting on the bathroom, laundry, kitchen walls and ceilings.

You can see these asbestos products in your own home, kindergarten, sports club, school, church, pubs and clubs and work places.

These were non-friable stable materials and not dangerous unless disturbed, accidentally damaged, weathered or worked upon. Generally the non friable asbestos products contained approximately 5% - 15% asbestos - the rest was cement, sand, resins and other bonding materials.

97% of asbestos containing materials are non friable, for example, Asbestos cement sheeting - if accidentally damaged or broken may release a few fibres initially but will not continue to do so…

From our research - 2 out of 3 houses built prior to 1987 were likely to have products that contain asbestos. Asbestos was widely used in home construction from 1950 through to the late 1980s.

Knowing the products that contain asbestos and if they are in a safe condition is all important. You can learn how to identify these and other products yourself.

Any materials which can be crumbled, pulverised, or reduced to powder by hand pressure. This may also include previously non friable material which becomes broken or damaged by mechanical force. As a general rule -
"If the Asbestos containing material can be easily disturbed and become air borne - by the effect of a breeze or simply creating a breeze by walking past it - it is in a friable state."

As a starting point You can visually identify if you have asbestos products in your home. If you have suspect products you can have them laboratory tested. As some products may look like asbestos - and other products that are painted - may not. This is the only scientific method that is accepted.

If you would like to know about how you can visually identify the presence of asbetsos in your own home follow the link to the Home Asbestos Identification Pak.

With asbestos awareness and working with asbestos training - you can safely do maintenance tasks, small job and deal with emergencies in your home - you can manage your asbestos safely. Awareness training is available on line.
Follow the link to the How to Do it Instruction Guide for home owners.

If you are a Trades Person you should follow this link and do our Blue Card Training.

To know more about asbestos in your home or work place please view our FREE online presentation by clicking this link Asbestos Awareness and Health Effects.

It provides you with a good understanding of Asbestos issues and steps you can take to minimise the risk of Asbestos.

Please click Other Related Topics to view them -

- What is the risk to my health breathing in asbestos fibres?
- How do I recognise Asbestos?
- What is the difference between Friable and Non-friable Asbestos?
- How do I identify possible Asbestos containing products in my home?
- How do I Sample potential Asbestos products for testing?
- Working on Asbestos – DIY or Contractor?
- Am I safe from asbestos in the Workplace?
- A technical definition of Asbestos?

If you would like some professional assistance on asbestos related matters in the home or workplace you can contact us at info@asbestosandyou.com.au or visit our website.