Asbestos can pose a serious health risk. People most at risk are home renovators and their families, as most people don't fully understand the health risk involved.
1 in 3 Australian homes contains building materials containing asbestos. If your home was built or renovated before 1985 it is likely that your home will contain asbestos. The risk to families is when the building materials containing asbestos are disturbed or damaged and this can release dangerous dust fibres that can be inhaled.
Serious Health Risks
Asbestos when disturbed releases dangerous fine particles of dust containing asbestos fibres. Breathing in the dust containing asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer in the lining of the lung). It is essential that all safety precautions are taken and observed to reduce the health risks when disturbing asbestos in the home.
Where can you find asbestos in the home?
Asbestos can be found in a range of products, including:
- Fibro sheeting (flat and corrugated), which was used in internal and external walls and ceilings, fencing, carports, garages, infill panels for windows and doors, sheeting under floor tiles, bathroom walls, backing to floor tiles and sheet vinyl, and carpet underlay
- Water drainage and flue pipes
- Roofing shingles and guttering
For more information download the Asbestos Fact Sheet
Managing and Disposing of Asbestos
There are legal and safety requirements for the management and disposal of asbestos. Asbestos must be removed by a trained professional for 10 square metres or more of materials.
Broken Hill City Council Landfill can accept asbestos for disposal. Please contact Council's Waste Services Supervisor on 0409 712 776 for disposal charges and requirements. All asbestos must be completely wrapped and sealed prior to disposal.
It is illegal to dispose of asbestos waste in domestic garbage bins
It is illegal to re-use or recycle asbestos products
It is illegal to dump asbestos products
Work cover has created Guidelines (PDF - 1005.93KB) for working with asbestos.
Council's Standard Development Application conditions for asbestos management
Council has several standard conditions relating to the management of asbestos for Development Applications. These conditions are a statutory requirement for the Protection of the Environmental Operations Act 1997. Council may include extra conditions on development applications during each applications assessment.
Condition - Disposal of Asbestos
That all asbestos cement sheeting be disposed of at Council's Waste Site. Please contact Council's Waste Services Supervisor on 0409 712 776, for disposal charges and disposal arrangements/requirements.
Condition - Method of Demolition
That the demolition of the building strictly comply with the requirements of AS2601 and any requirements of the Work Cover Authority of NSW.
Condition - Removal of Asbestos
That all asbestos cement sheeting be removed, handled and disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the Work Cover Authority of NSW.
The following web sites have detailed information on asbestos