What is asbestos? Asbestos is any of several minerals that readily separate into long, flexible fibres. Chrysotile is the most common type and accounts for about 95 percent of all asbestos in commercial use. Asbestos was mined in Australia from the 1940s to late 1980s and used in a variety of materials and products.The fibre was formerly widely used inbrake linings, gaskets, and insulation; and inroofing shingles, floor and ceiling tiles, cement pipes, and otherbuilding materials.
Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause health risks such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Majority of people who have contracted these diseases have a long history of exposure to asbestos and spanning over a long period of time.
Roughly thirty percent of buildings in Sydney contain some form of asbestos.
If you do not know the condition of your AC sheeting then you can get an asbestos report done by a licensed asbestos removal contractor, which will outline all areas containing asbestos, the condition of the area, the health risks associated and the required course of action.
Many homes & garages contain corrugated asbestos cement roof sheeting that is in poor condition, i.e. unpainted, weather damaged, eroded. Action is a must in these cases, and a licensed asbestos removals contractor should be contacted..
Safe asbestos removal practices:
* You must not cut, grind or break asbestos sheeting
* Appropriate protective equipment needs to be used, eg Australian Standards Protection Level 2 (P2) minimum half face disposable mask, disposable coveralls, protective gloves, goggles, steel cap boots
* Asbestos sheets needs to be removed with minimal breakage and must be kept wet to limit the release of fibres
* Asbestos needs to be doubled wrapped in builders plastic 200um thick
* Asbestos needs to be disposed of at a licensed disposal landfill or transfer station, WSN Environmental Solutions have several sites that accept asbestos
* Asbestos removal should not take place on windy days
USEFUL RESOURCES & LINKS
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (SYDNEY & NSW)
2001 (Regulation) outlines the following specific requirements for asbestos removal:
Chapter 4, clauses 43 and 44 - Risk assessment, control and asbestos register
-the controller of premises must identify any foreseeable hazards and control them. An asbestos register and exposure standards must be kept.
Chapter 6, clauses 169 and 170 Carcinogenic substances (health surveillance records)
-for employers the use of asbestos in the form of chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, fibrous anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite are prohibited except for the purpose of sampling or analysis, maintenance, removal, disposal, encapsulation or enclosure and any potential exposure must be recorded and advice given to the employee.
Chapter 8 Asbestos in construction
-specific conditions for asbestos removal work on construction sites and prohibition on the reuse of asbestos products or water blasting asbestos products.
Chapter 10 Licence requirements
-the requirements for licensing for bonded and friable asbestos removals; from 1 January 2008, a licence is required for the removal of more than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos material.
Chapter 11 Permit applications
-permits for friable asbestos removal work.
Chapter 12 Notification of Removal work
-notification of bonded asbestos removal work; exemption requirements for naturally occurring asbestos.
The regulation does not allow the use, reuse or sale of any asbestos product.
For more information regarding asbestos removals see the WorkCover NSW site: