August 31, 2016

What is Asbestos

What is and why was Asbestos popular

Asbestos is the name used to describe a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals: chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite (Chrysotile and amosite asbestos being the most common). Although mined and available for thousands of years asbestos products became very popular between the 1940’s and 1980’s because of these main properties:

  • It remains stable when heated (brake pads)
  • Is strong under tension
  • It’s chemical resistance
  • It is water resistance or absorbency (depending on type of asbestos)
  • Can be used for weaving and reinforcing
  • It is electrical resistant


Why is asbestos so dangerous

Asbestos is a health risk when extremely fine particles become airborne and are inhaled. These fibres cannot be seen with the eye, but when they become lodged in the lungs they may stay there and develop into a disease. You may have asbestos materials in a building and while it is undisturbed and in sound condition it will not generate airborne respirable fibres but if you perform any action that can loosen the material or turn it into fine particles you will be at risk. These actions include drilling, sawing, cutting or any abrasion.

You’ll want to be aware of and manage asbestos if you plan to make changes to the environment where asbestos exists. Like making alterations, demolition, renovation etc.


Where to look to find asbestos

The most common place where people are familiar with the term asbestos is in home insulation products but because of it’s versatility it can be found in places where you might not even expect to find it. Here are just some examples:

  • Floor tiles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Asbestos Cement
  • Wall panels
  • Boiler insulation
  • Electrical insulation
  • Spray-on fireproofing
  • Wallboard joint compound
  • Wall and attic insulation
  • Old stormwater pipes
  • Electrical boxes
  • Garage walls
  • Roof shingles and eves
  • Brake shoes, disc pads, clutch housings or elevator brakes


Our Services

Asbestos Identification and Testing

Asbestos Removal and Disposal


Further reading about Asbestos

Australian Government Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency’s website.

Read more about Asbestos and it’s characteristics at the Queensland Government website.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council information brochure (asbestos-identification-testing-removal-fact-sheet-Macedon-Ranges-Shire-Council)




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