Sources of asbestosAsbestos was used widely in industrial, commercial and domestic applications.Its common uses were:
- Asbestos cement products (asbestos sheeting for construction, wall sheets, eaves, super six fencing, tiles, pipes, etc)
- Sprayed-on fibre proofing/acoustic plaster for sound proofing
- Thermal insulation (pipe lagging, boiler insulation, etc)
- Raw unprocessed asbestos (asbestos rope, fire blankets, etc)
- Gaskets, brake linings and clutch facings
- Vinyl asbestos floor tiles, sheet floor coverings and asbestos underlays.
Requirements for removing asbestos
Contractors removing more than 0.5 square metres of friable asbestos (e.g. pipe lagging, insulation, and asbestos-backed vinyl tiles) require:
- An environmental authorisation (licence) as a 'Producer of Listed Waste' issued by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) under section 36 of the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act); and
- A licence issued by SafeWork SA.
Contractors removing more than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos (e.g. cement sheeting, vinyl floor tiles, water or flue pipes, or other asbestos-bonded products produced before 1980) require a relevant licence issued by SafeWork SA.
- Close all windows and doors to prevent possible entry of asbestos
- Wet the asbestos cement with water before removal (if safe to do so) and keep it wet until packaged for transport
- Remove asbestos cement with minimal breakage
- Do not drop asbestos on the ground - lower sheets carefully
- Wear disposable coveralls, an approved respirator or a particle mask suitable for asbestos
- Do not use power tools to cut or remove asbestos, except if removing screws of fastenings
- If necessary, temporarily store removed asbestos on a plastic ground sheet out of high traffic areas.
Disposing of asbestos
Dispose of all non-friable asbestos waste promptly. For safety always:
- Wet all asbestos waste and place in thick plastic bags (200 micron), wrap in plastic sheets (200 micron) or place directly in plastic-lined bins or vehicles. Tape and label: 'CAUTION: ASBESTOS, DO NOT INHALE DUST'
- Transport the asbestos to a landfill or waste transfer station licensed by the EPA to receive asbestos.
Further advice on asbestos
For further advice on asbestos, phone SafeWork SA on 1300 365 255 or visit the following website: