Asbestos Information Sydney

Asbestos: What you need to know

It would be difficult to overstate the risks to your health associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos has left a legacy of chronic, often incurable disease across the entire supply chain, from its source in the mines, to the schools, homes, factories and shops where it has been used in building materials and appliances.

Diseases associated with asbestos exposure are debilitating, progressive and often result in death, such as:

  • Asbestosis: A chronic lung disease that can lead to respiratory impairment and to diseases such as lung cancer.
  • Mesothelioma: A cancer of the lining of the pleura (outer lung lining) or of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity).
  • Cancers:  Cancers of the lungs, larynx, stomach, large intestine and possibly of the ovary, breast, kidney and bone marrow.
  • Pleural plaques: Patches of thickening of the lining of the chest wall and over the diaphragm.
  • Pleural effusion: A collection of fluid within the chest but outside the lung.

The symptoms of these diseases may not appear for many years after initial exposure, sometimes presenting only in the final stages of the disease.

There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres. The risk of disease is minimised only if occupational and public health regulations relating to the handling of asbestos are fully observed.

Siteclean can help you manage the asbestos risk.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral rock made up of strong fibrous crystals. From the early 1940s to the late 1980s asbestos was exploited commercially for its desirable fire-, heat- and chemical-resistant properties, finding its way in many residential and commercial building products. These products are known as asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and under NSW Legislation are classed as either friable or bonded:

  • Bonded asbestos material:  Asbestos-containing material in a bonded matrix. It may consist of Portland cement or various resin/binders and cannot be crushed by hand when dry. Asbestos cement (AC) products and electrical metering boards in good condition are examples of bonded asbestos material. A Class B licence holder can only remove bonded asbestos material.
  • Friable asbestos material: Any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry. Sprayed limpet, millboard, pipe and boiler lagging are examples of friable asbestos. A Class A licence holder can remove both friable and bonded asbestos.

As a class B licence holder, Siteclean is accredited for the removal of bonded asbestos only.

If your building was built or renovated earlier than 1982, or if materials from the list below are still present from that era, then there is a very high risk that they are contaminated with asbestos:

  • Corrugated asbestos cement – roofing, roof shingles, gutters, downpipes & fencing
  • Cement sheeting (fibro) – internal/external walls and ceilings
  • Electrical backing boards in meter boxes
  • Vinyl floor coverings
  • Vermiculite-sprayed ceilings
  • Hot water tank flues
  • Asbestos cement flue and drainage pipe-work
  • Flexible building boards (e.g., carpet underlay, Hardiflex, etc.)

The safe handling and removal of asbestos is controlled by state legislation, using practices designed to minimise the risks to you, your colleagues and your families.

If you believe or suspect that there is a risk of asbestos-containing material at your site then seek professional advice. Our experienced, approachable team is always on hand to answer your questions, and guide you through your obligations.

For a personal obligation-free quote for asbestos removal services in Sydney, call David on 0416 093 588 or fill out our simple online form today.

Legislation and Codes of Practice references:

  • Work Health And Safety (WHS) Act 2011
  • Work Health And Safety (WHS) Regulation 2011

Asbestos Information:

Public Health

You can obtain further advice concerning the health risks of asbestos from:

Legislation & Codes Of Practice References: National Occupational Health And Safety Commission – (NOHSC: 2002(2005) Code of practice for the removal of Asbestos.

National Occupational Health And Safety Commission – (NOHSC: 2018 (2005)) Code of practice for the management and control of asbestos in workplaces.
Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000 safe working conditions.
Occupational Health & Safety Regulation 2001 Exposure standards, licensing and permits

Further information:

General information on asbestos can be obtained from the NSW Government’s website.
NSW Workers’ Compensation Dust Diseases Board – (02) 8223 6600 or
Toll Free on 1800 550 027

Dust Diseases Board also operates the Occupational Respiratory Screening Service and the Mobile Respiratory Screening Service (Lung Bus) Tel: 1800 727 333

WorkCover Authority
Licences contractors who remove asbestos.

WorkCover Australia

Office of Fair Trading
Oversees trading practices.

National Occupational Health & Safety Commission Outlines the methods, procedures and work practices for the identification, evaluation and control hazards for asbestos

Site Clean

Further advice concerning the health risks of asbestos can be obtained from your local public health unit.Further information
Further advice concerning the health risks of asbestos can be obtained from your local Public Health Unit (see below). General information on asbestos can be obtained from http://www.nsw.gov.au/fibro/index.asp.

Metropolitan Areas Location Number Rural Areas Location Number
Northern Sydney/Central Coast Hornsby 02 9477 9400 Greater Southern Goulburn 02 4824 1837
Gosford 02 4349 4845 Albury 02 6080 8900
South Eastern Sydney/Illawarra Randwick 02 9382 8333 Greater Western Broken Hill 08 8080 1499
Wollongong 02 4221 6700 Dubbo 02 6841 5569
Sydney South West Camperdown 02 9515 9420 Bathurst 02 6339 5601
Sydney West Penrith 02 4734 2022 Hunter/New England Newcastle 02 4924 6477
Parramatta 02 9840 3603 Tamworth 02 6767 8630
Justice Health Service Matraville 02 9311 2707 North Coast Port Macquarie 02 6588 2750
Lismore 02 6620 7500

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