If you are thinking about renovating, you must be aware of asbestos. Inhaling asbestos fibres which are released into the air when asbestos products are incorrectly handled, stored or transported, is hazardous. It is estimated that one in three homes contain asbestos. If you home was built or renovated before 1990 then it’s likely to contain some type of asbestos building product.
To minimise the risk of asbestos exposure to yourself or your family, WorkCover recommends that householders engage a licensed asbestos contractor if asbestos must be disturbed or removed. Do-it-yourself asbestos removal is not recommended. However, home renovators can remove up to 10m2 of bonded asbestos (in total) but should follow safety precautions. Refer to EPA’s Safely Disposing of Asbestos Waste Fact sheet.
Quantities greater than 10m2 must be done by a licensed asbestos contractor. A Class A licensed asbestos contractor can carry out work which involves both friable and non-friable asbestos. A Class B licensed asbestos contractor can work with non-friable (bonded) asbestos only.
Friable asbestos is any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.
Non-friable (bonded) asbestos is any material that contains asbestos (other than friable asbestos material).
If you have concerns about a home renovator removing asbestos, contact Council. If you concern is about a building site or work site, contact SafeWork NSW.