What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous silicate mineral. It was considered a versatile product, because it is able to withstand heat, erosion and decay and has fire and water resistant properties.
It becomes a health risk when asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in.
Asbestos building materials is described as either non-friable or friable .
Non-Friable asbestos is any material (other than friable asbestos) that contains asbestos. Non- friable asbestos cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.
Common uses for non-friable asbestos in buildings include: flat (fibro), corrugated or compressed asbestos cement sheets; water, drainage and flue pipes; and floor tiles.
If fire, hail, or direct activities such as water blasting and drilling damages bonded asbestos, it may become friable asbestos material
Friable asbestos material is any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.
Friable asbestos was not commonly used in the home; it was mainly used in industrial applications such as pipe lagging, sprayed limpet and asbestos cloth and rope.
Friable asbestos can only be removed by a licenced asbestos removalist with a friable asbestos licence.
Loose-fill asbestos found in homes in NSW and the ACT
Loose-fill asbestos was sold as ceiling insulation In the 1960s and 1970s, for residential and commercial premises mainly by one company trading in the ACT as Mr Fluffy. Most properties impacted are located in the ACT, a small number of properties in south east NSW have also been identified as containing this type of insulation.
Find Out More About Managing Asbestos in NSW
For information on loose-fill asbestos ceiling insulation material installed by Mr Fluffy during the 1960s and 1970s please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit the Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce page.
It is Important Everyone Knows About Asbestos Health Risks and Safety Requirements
While some people may ensure they follow the regulations and safety requirements to remove small amounts of asbestos themselves, we recommend retaining a licenced asbestos removal professional who is equipped to protect you and your family from the dangers of asbestos dust.