25 November 2019 to 1 December 2019
Asbestos could be lurking in your bathroom, kitchen or other unexpected places in your home – this is the message to do-it-yourself renovators with at least one in three Australian homes likely to contain this dangerous product. Before its ban in 2003, asbestos was used in more than 3,000 common building materials.
You might also be surprised to know that Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related disease in the world, and that DIY renovators and some tradies are among those most at risk for asbestos exposure. What’s more, there is no known safe minimum level of exposure.
This week is Asbestos Awareness Week, so now is the time to find out how to keep you and your family safe around asbestos.
Products around the home that might contain asbestos include:
- Roofs, eaves, downpipes and insulation
- Interior walls (often with a non-asbestos covering on the outside)
- Kitchen splashbacks
- Under lino, some carpets, and tiles (and the cement compounds used to affix tiles)
- Lagging around pipes, inside fuse boxes or as part of ventilation shafts
- Fences, garden sheds and small outdoor construction like chicken coops
- As part of bonded cement compounds that make up walls –disturbed when you sand for painting
You can’t detect asbestos just by looking at it as some companies manufactured identical-looking products after the asbestos ban in 2003.
If you’re renovating your own home, built prior to 1990, you need to be especially careful. Start by visiting asbestos.nsw.gov.au for more info. You can use the Asbestos Finder to know more about the materials in your home. And if you need, ask a licenced asbestos assessor to inspect your home.
If you’re worried about asbestos in your workplace, your first port of call should be your employer or health and safety representative, and then to SafeWork NSW.
Workers in the building and constructions trades, vehicle trades and manufacturing, as well as plumbers and electricians, are especially at risk of potentially encountering asbestos.
So know the risks and know the facts. Always take precautions and if you suspect a product might contain asbestos, don’t work with it – seek the help of a trained professional to assist. For more info visit asbestos.nsw.gov.au.
Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre accepts asbestos for disposal. There are special conditions that must be met before bringing your asbestos to Kimbriki. These are:
- Material must be double-bagged or double-wrapped and sealed in heavy duty 200um builders plastic – package limit 20kg
- Individual packages must be 20kg maximum – customer must be able to lift each package from own vehicle and place it in the designated asbestos disposal area. Pushing of packages is not allowed.
- All Asbestos material must be hand-unloaded ONLY, no assistance by mechanical equipment or tipping is permitted. Customers must unload their own waste.
- No friable Asbestos products are accepted. This includes fire doors.
If these Asbestos tipping conditions are not met, the load will be rejected.
Environment Protection Authority (EPA) WasteLocate
The EPA requires waste transporters to report the movement of more than 100kg of asbestos waste or more than 10 square metres of asbestos sheeting within NSW. This can be done via an online tool called WasteLocate. See wastelocate.epa.nsw.gov.au/ or scan your QR2id code at the asbestos drop-off area.