If your home was built or renovated before 1987, it may contain asbestos. This shouldn’t be a problem if your home is in good condition and the asbestos is unlikely to be exposed. But if you have loose-fill insulation, or plan to renovate or make repairs, you need to know how to handle asbestos properly or it could be a serious health hazard.
Why is Asbestos so Dangerous?
If asbestos is incorrectly handled, stored or disposed of, it can release fine particles of dust containing asbestos fibres. Breathing them in can cause several types of cancer, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, and you risk exposing yourself and your family to long-term health issues.
Testing for Asbestos
The best and safest way to see if asbestos is on your property is to have it tested by a licensed asbestos assessor. To find an accredited laboratory near you, go to the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) website or call them on 1800 621 666. If asbestos is present and you’re planning to renovate, demolish or do home maintenance, you’ll need to check with Council’s Planning and Assessment department if consent is required.
Removing Asbestos Safely
The basic rules from asbestosawareness.com.au are: Don’t cut it! Don’t drill it! Don’t drop it! Don’t sand it! Don’t saw it! Don’t scrape it! Don’t scrub it! Don’t dismantle it! Don’t tip it! Don’t waterblast it! Don’t demolish it! And whatever you do … Don’t dump it! Their website is a great resource, and you can get free advice on asbestos related issues by calling 1800 ASBESTOS (1800 272 378).
Disposing of Asbestos Waste
All asbestos must be transported to and disposed of at a facility that is appropriately licensed by NSW EPA to accept asbestos waste. We have a licensed disposal facility right here on the Northern Beaches at the Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre.
Asbestos Dumping is Illegal and Dangerous
If you suspect asbestos waste is being dumped on private or public land, please report the asbestos issue or call Council 24/7 on 1300 434 434.