Asbestos

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally-occurring silicate minerals that are made up of fine, fibrous crystals. Three of these are crocidolite (blue asbestos), amosite (brown or grey asbestos) and chrysotile (white asbestos).

Where can asbestos be found?

Some examples of where Asbestos can be found is in forms of concrete, asbestos cement sheeting (AC sheeting or fibro), vinyl floor coverings, lagging of pipes and boilers, and insulation (laid or sprayed).

Why is asbestos a health risk?

Asbestos becomes a hazard when microscopic fibre fragments become airborne and are inhaled. Due to their size and shape they can remain airborne for some time, and enter even the smallest air passages in the lungs where they embed in lung tissue which in turn causes several different diseases such as: Pleural Disease, Asbestosis, Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma. The typical period between exposure and the onset of symptoms is 20 to 40 years it is estimated the peak of Asbestos related diseases will not be until the 2020s.

For further information on where Asbestos may be located and how to manage it please view the below links:
www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/pages/headsofasbestoscoordinationauthoritieslocalgovernmentfactsheet.aspx
www.asbestosawareness.com.au
www.adfa.org.au
www.environment.nsw.gov.au
www.nsw.gov.au/fibro
www.wasteservice.nsw.gov.au

It is recommended that people carrying out development works familarise themselves with the information available on these sites and take appropriate steps to minimize or remove any risk of exposure.