If your home was built or renovated prior to the mid-late 1980's, it is likely that your home contains asbestos. Materials in the home that may contain asbestos include, but are not limited to:
- fibro sheeting;
- water drainage and flue pipes;
- roofing shingles;
- guttering; and
- vinyl sheet flooring coverings.
Asbestos becomes a health risk when fibres are released into the air and breathed in. Symptoms of asbestos dust related diseases do not usually appear until 20-30 years after the initial exposure.
You generally can't tell whether building materials contain asbestos by looking at them. If in doubt it is best to treat the materials as if they do contain asbestos and take all adequate safety precautions. Only scientific testing of a sample by a NATA accredited testing laboratory can confirm the presence of asbestos.
Homeowners may remove asbestos from their property without a licence but must follow safety control measures outlined by SafeWork SA. Once removed, packaged and labelled it must be transported to an EPA licenced landfill for disposal.
Any unsafe handling or removal of asbestos will be investigated by the appropriate enforcement agency and any legislative breaches may result in significant penalties.
For issues concerning asbestos at the workplace, this includes a home where the owners have engaged a contractor to remove the asbestos, contact SafeWork SA 1300 365 255.
For issues concerning asbestos removal in the home where owners are removing the asbestos themselves, contact Whyalla City Council.
Further information specifically about the risks of asbestos and where you might find it in your home can be found in the links below.