About Asbestos

Asbestos fibres are completely invisible to the human eye and are easily breathed in by the lungs. Between the 1940’s and 1980’s, a very large proportion of Australian building materials (particularly for residential use) contained the mineral. In 2003, the use of all forms of it were banned (i.e. classified unsuitable and unsafe for building).

How it affects our health

As it is easily breathed into the lungs, it has been linked to the harmful cause of:

Asbestosis

an irreparable and rapidly advancing scarring of the lung
tissue, which causes breathing difficulties

Lung Cancer

affecting the lining around the abdomen and the lungs

Benign
Pleural Diseases

also affecting the linings of the abdomen and the lungs

Each of the aforementioned diseases develop gradually and have do not have cures.

Different types

The below categories vary greatly and as a result their harmful properties and the associated costs of removal differ.

1Friable/loosely bound

Primarily found in commercial and/or industrial developments but was also used in residential heaters, hot water systems, vinyl/linoleum flooring, pipe lagging and stoves. Due to its loose nature, this type of asbestos can disperse through the air easily, posing significant health threats.

2Bonded/tightly bound

Commonly found in residential properties, this type of asbestos is typically used in smaller amounts than loosely bound asbestos. It is much more solid and poses less of a health threat as it cannot disperse through air at the same rapid rate.
Contact Savana Environmental for more information on our asbestos identification and removal suite of services.

Where is asbestos commonly found

The below categories vary greatly and as a result their harmful properties and the associated costs of removal differ.

Source: Queensland Government click here to view home renovation guide.

Up until 2003 when the use of asbestos was banned in its entirety in Australia, asbestos was commonly used for domestic applications due to its cost, abundance and overall effectivness. Asbestos is known to have been used in over 2000 products. As such there are still very large quantities of asbestos within buildings today.
The sketches show the likely location, and products which asbestos was commonly used in a typical builds in Australia.

Asbestos Containing Products
Roofing Sheets

It is estimated that about 98% of homes made prior to 1976 contain products made of asbestos – commonly found in roofing sheets.

Mock Timber Cladding

It is often found in older buildings with mock timber cladding due to its moisture and heat repelling properties.

Imitation Brick Cladding

Even modern property owners need to check whether their imitation brick cladding contains traces of asbestos.

Cladding

Many older houses were constructed using asbestos for cladding as it works as a barrier against heat and moisture.

Linoleum

Many linoleum products were backed heavily with asbestos in the past due to its low cost.

Corrugated Panels

Used frequently for past fencing projects because of its easy installation process and low cost.

Guttering

Previously used for guttering due to its stability, strength and moisture resisting properties in many residential and commercial buildings.