Asbestos Information

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre

There are six types of Asbestos mineral fibres:

  • Chrysotile (white asbestos)
  • Amosite (brown or grey asbestos)
  • Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
  • Tremolite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Actinolite

The three most common types of asbestos that were mainly used in a wide range of products are:

  • Chrysotile (white asbestos)
  • Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
  • Amosite (brown or grey asbestos)




Asbestos was once considered to be a very useful mineral because it is flexible, strong, affordable and can insulate from heat and electricity. Because of this, it was commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings.

In the past, asbestos was mined and manufactured into many different materials. Materials containing asbestos were very common in the Australian residential building industry between the 1940s and late 1980s before their production stopped.

Asbestos was mined in Australia until 1984, and 1.5 million tonnes of Asbestos was imported between 1930 and 1983.

On the 31st December 2003 asbestos was banned in Australia.


Approximately one third of all homes in Australia contain Asbestos products. If your house was built before 1990, it is likely that it would have some Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM'S). Asbestos or Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM'S) could be found in the following areas:

  • Roofing and gutters
  • Gables and Eaves
  • Walls
  • Vinyl, carpet and tile underlay
  • Lining behind wall tiles
  • Imitation brick cladding
  • Fencing
  • Sheds and out houses
  • Garages
  • Splashbacks in wet areas
  • Telecommunications pits
  • Some window putty
  • Expansion joints
  • Packing under beams
  • Concrete formwork

Asbestos products were manufactured in two ways. Non-Friable or Bonded Asbestos and Friable or Loose Asbestos.

Asbestos Carport


Asbestos Fencing


Non-Friable or Bonded Asbestos

In Australia over 97% of Asbestos products were Non-Friable material where the Asbestos fibres were bonded by cement, vinyl or similar resin type material.

Bonded Asbestos is commonly known as fibro, AC sheeting or Asbestos cement.

If in good condition and unbroken, bonded asbestos do not normally release fibres into the air. When damaged, washed or scrubbed excessively, drilled into or crushed this can release fibres into the air becoming friable




Friable or Loose Asbestos

Friable Asbestos means any loose or raw asbestos that can crumble or be reduced to powder by hand pressure. Whilst it was not commonly used in the home, in ACT and NSW loose filled Asbestos was sold as ceiling insulation in the 1960's and 1970's. This was commonly known as Mr Fluffy.

Friable asbestos is extremely dangerous and must only be handled by a licenced Friable Asbestos Removalist





Asbestos Related Diseases

When fibres are breathed in they may remain deep within the lungs and may cause serious asbestos related diseases. These diseases usually take may years if not decades to develop.

The two most known Asbestos related diseases are:



Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the lining (mesothelium) that covers many of the bodies internal organs. The disease is usually advanced before symptoms appear, making an early diagnosis and effective treatment very difficult. It can be up to 30-40 years after the first asbestos exposure before the disease is diagnosed. This form of cancer is only known to occur from exposure to Asbestos. There is no known cure.


Asbestosis is a scarring or thickening of the lungs by inhaling large amounts of Asbestos dust or fibres. After first being exposed it can generally take 10 years or more to develop. It can cause shortness of breath and permanent lung damage. There is no known cure.

At All Southern Asbestos Removal, we strongly advise all types of Asbestos should be removed by a licenced Asbestos Removalist. Family comes first.


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