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Asbestos Resources: Your Handy Guideline

We provide a wide range of information about links, contacts, and resources you need to know when you are dealing with asbestos in Central Coast City. 

List of asbestos resources:

  1. What is asbestos?
  2. Types of asbestos
  3. Why is asbestos dangerous?
  4. Asbestos in Central Coast City
  5. Where to find asbestos in my home?
  6. Asbestos regulations
  7. What to do when I find asbestos in my building?
  8. Authorised landfill for asbestos waste
  9. Important contacts

 

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a commercial term that includes a set of six naturally-occurring silicate minerals in the form of fibres. The substance is naturally formed in the environment and has been mined for centuries. Asbestos was widely used as building construction materials due to its great abilities, which are:

  1. Heat resistant;
  2. Giving strength under pressure;
  3. Chemical resistance;
  4. Water resistance or absorbency (depends on the asbestos type);
  5. Suitability for reinforcing and weaving;
  6. Electrical resistance.

As a result, most Australian buildings built before 2003 contain asbestos materials. This is because the use of asbestos was completely banned in 2003.

 

Types of Asbestos

There are three types of asbestos that frequently used in products, which are:

  1. Chrysotile;
  2. Crocidotile;
  3. Amosite

 

However, for commercial usage, usually asbestos comes in two forms:

  1. Friable asbestos: This kind of substance will crumble easily by hand power. Generally, this kind of asbestos product has high percentages of fibres. It will be dangerous when the product gets disturbed. It can easily go airborne and create contamination through out the environment. Friable asbestos poses a great health risk for people. It can only be removed by “A” class removalists.
  2. Non-friable asbestos: This kind of asbestos products usually is bonded firmly to other materials, such as cement. The product contains less fibre element than the friable type which is only up to 15% per product. The product is unlikely to go airborne easily and it poses a lower health risk. Therefore, it can be removed by “B” class licenced removalists.

Now before you are starting to remove any kind of asbestos product in your building; Try to find the most reliable asbestos removalist first.

Click here to know more about asbestos removalist licence: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/

 

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

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Asbestos in Central Coast City

You can literally find asbestos threat everywhere near you. Imagine when you want to take a walk along the beach, but you have to be cautious whether the sand is contaminated with asbestos debris or not. That is what happened in Central Coast. There was a large amounts of asbestos property waste around the beach. It came from a beachfront mansion.

Read more about the issue here:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/eddie-obeid-left-deadly-asbestos-on-his-former-wamberal-beachfront-property/news-story/d7477e9ffb0cc4651746aa10cd06bd68

 

Mishandling the Asbestos Product

As we know, asbestos is harmful for people. It is important to handle the products with care. Prevent yourself from endangering your life and the people around you with carelessly handling asbestos products.

Therefore, you are also responsible to keep the environment safe from asbestos contamination.

So, follow the Central Coast City regulations and contact the local council immediately when you find:

  • A homeowner, home renovator, builder, or anyone who is unsafely removing, handling, transporting or disposing of asbestos material and/or waste illegally.
  • A business or contractor mishandles asbestos materials at a commercial property.

You can also reach the New South Wales Department of Justice and the Attorney General (Workplace Health and Safety New South Wales) on 02 8688 7777.

Click the following link to know further about asbestos information and complaints in Central Coast area – https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au

 

Where to Find Asbestos in My Home?

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As mentioned above, you can find asbestos products in two kinds of forms. In Australia, asbestos products are most likely to be found in buildings built before 2003.

And up until the 1960s, 25% of all new housing was clad in asbestos cement in Australia (Leigh & Driscoll, 2002). [1]

Click the following links below to know further about asbestos products in a building:

https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/asbestos-information

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/asbestos-toc~asbestos-when-and-where

 

Asbestos Regulations

On 31 December 2003, materials containing all forms of asbestos were no longer able to be sold, used, reused, manufactured, imported, supplied, stored, transported, installed or replaced in Australia (Safe Work Australia, 2010). [2]

Therefore, for safety reasons, if you happen to own a building that was built before 2003, it will be better for you to have a thorough inspection. Now increase your knowledge about asbestos regulations through your local council website. Every activity involves asbestos must be done under the regulated law.

Check Asbestos Laws and Compliance here – https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/laws-and-compliance/workplace-health-and-safety-laws/laws-and-legislation/codes-of-practice

 

What to Do When I Find Asbestos in My Building?

If you found any suspected material that might contain asbestos, do not touch it! As mentioned above, it will be dangerous to have a direct contact with this harmful substance. Especially, when the suspected product is broken or damaged.

Basically, if the asbestos product is in good condition, it will be better for you to leave it undisturbed. However, you also must consider that the product will never be in good condition forever. You will never know when it will be broken or damaged. That is why, you need an asbestos removal work.

Ask yourself with these questions to initiate your plan on removing any asbestos product from your place:

  • Is it safe to leave the product alone?
  • Is it safe and qualified to remove the product by yourself?
  • What is the requirement to uninstall the asbestos product?
  • What does the regulation say about removing asbestos?
  • Do you need to hire a licenced asbestos removalist?

For further information about removing the asbestos products safely, click the following link – https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/58194/how-to-safely-remove-asbestos-cop-2011.pdf

 

Authorised Landfills for Asbestos Waste

Asbestos disposal is an important matter. The activity is strictly regulated by the local council, which will be different in every city. In other words, you can not dump the asbestos waste in a regular garbage bin. You should contact your nearest local council to know more about how to dispose of asbestos waste legally.

 

Buttonderry Waste Management Facility

Hue Hue Rd, Jilliby

1.5km north of the Sparks Rd turnoff

Tel: (+61 2) 4350 1320.

Click the following link to know more about asbestos disposal information in Central Coast City – https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/

 

Important Contacts

Now you know the urgency of handling asbestos with care. You should save these contacts below if you need to know further about asbestos.

 

New South Wales Government

For complaints and urgent enquiries.

Contact details

Tel: 13 77 88

Website: https://www.nsw.gov.au/

 

Workplace Health and Safety New South Wales (SafeWork NSW)

SafeWork NSW is the regulator who is responsible for improving work health and safety in New State Wales. SafeWork NSW also works to reduce the accidental risk for workers in workplaces. This also includes to manage, control, and arrange the asbestos removal works in workplaces.

Contact details

Tel: 13 10 50

Website: http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/

 

New South Sales Health

New South Sales Health manages the regulations of asbestos-related activities which occur at non-workplaces, such as domestic premises or residential property. However, the responsibility is carried by the local government. The local government maintains and responds to asbestos incidents in residential settings.

Contact details

Website: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/

 

WorkCover New South Wales

WorkCover New South Wales is a body which handles and accommodates workers’ compensation insurance for New South Wales employers and their workers.

Contact details

Website: https://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/

Email: contact@sira.nsw.gov.au

 

Office of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP)

The Office of Environment and Heritage Protection is accountable for overseeing the businesses and individuals in complying and following the Environmental Protection Act 1994. Environmental Protection Act 1994 is a regulation that controls legal obligations on people who do activities that might contaminate the environment. Public can report illegal asbestos dumping to EHP.

Contact details

Tel: (02) 9995 5000

Address: Main Office – Sydney CBD, Level 14, 59-61 Goulburn Street

Website: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/

 

National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)

NATA is the authority who is responsible for the accreditation of laboratories, particularly for identifying and examining the asbestos material. NATA is also capable of creating certified reference materials and testing scheme providers throughout Australia.

Contact details

Website: https://www.nata.com.au/

 

Central Coast City Council

 Local Council controls many transfer stations and landfills for asbestos. The local government is also capable of handling and responding to asbestos incidents in non-workplace settings, such as residential properties under public health legislation.

Contact details

Website: https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/

 

References:

[1] Leigh J & Driscoll T 2002. Malignant mesothelioma in Australia, 1945–2002 International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 9(3), 206–217
[2] http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/850/Asbestos%20related%20disease%20indicators%202014.pdf