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Safe Environments’ surveyors to assist in identification of asbestos to eliminate health risks

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article image Identifying asbestos for minimising risks
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Safe Environments  asbestos surveyors will assist identifying asbestos within customer’s property. Identifying asbestos is an important check on the property to ensure that the risk of asbestos related illness is minimised.

Asbestos is a common naturally occurring mineral silicate that was used in many building products such as fibre cement sheet. When left and maintained in a good condition, bonded asbestos does not pose a significant health risk unless the asbestos containing material is deteriorated or disturbed such that it liberates fibres into the air.

A good understanding of building codes will assist in identifying potential asbestos containing materials as asbestos was used within building materials primarily due to the fibres providing superior fire resistance. A qualified asbestos consultant or surveyor should be used to confirm if the material contains asbestos and conduct a risk assessment and record the results within an asbestos register. The following is not an exhaustive list; however it will assist in identifying where asbestos products may be found:

  • Fibre cement sheet eaves, ceilings, walls, gables and fascia
  • Vinyl Floor tiles
  • Compressed fibre cement sheet floors
  • Corrugated roof sheets
  • Sealant materials
  • Roof membranes
  • Water pipes
  • Telephone pits
  • Pipe lagging
  • Heater insulation
  • Flange gaskets to pipes
  • Fire doors
  • Electrical backing boards
  • Spandrel panels
  • Sound dampener underneath the kitchen sink
  • Window putty
  • Spray applied material to ceiling sand beams
  • Millboard insulation to air conditioning reheating elements

Identifying asbestos cannot be confirmed by a visual examination, samples of the suspected material must undergo asbestos testing at a laboratory using a microscope. If a suspected material is not submitted for testing, then the material will be presumed to contain asbestos. While the asbestos testing may seem to be an unwanted expense, it can save money in the long term as any repair or removal will required expensive controls and monitoring.

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