How to identify asbestos fibro cladding

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623 Responses to “How to identify asbestos fibro cladding”

  1. Dan Says:

    Great website, especially the ID methods using other indicators (like the type of joiners). I was hoping to find pictures and ID methods for all the James Hardie products- Try typing asbestos into their website, just for a laugh. Apparently the stuff doesn’t exist except as a single note in their history as something they phased out in the 80′s.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks Dan.
    Yep Hardies don’t seem to be too helpful when it comes to identifying their older products. However some of the older Hardies product catalogues are available to view at the National Library of Australia, in Canberra(http://www.nla.gov.au). This may be as close as you get to identifying all the different profiles and products and associated items of the period. Unfortunately you can’t view this online, you have to goto the library itself, which means a trip to our capital.

  3. Clint Says:

    Some of the information contained here is not entireley correct and should not be relied upon, rather used as a guide only.

    The ONLY definitive way of correctly identifying asbestos is via microscope examination of the sample material- prepared in accordance with NATA standards.

    It is NOT recommended or accepted practice to verify identification via visual inspection of the pattern -known colloqually as the golf ball method -due to inconsistencies in qualitative judgements and variations in the manufacturing process over many decades of production.

    When in doubt the material must always be treated as asbestos until proven otherwise in a NATA accredited lab. The cost of having a sample analyzed is around the $100-150 mark.

  4. Anthony Says:

    great site,

    I think a lot of people don’t realise Asbestos is in Fibro sheeting. I had a guy out to network out house and I asked for the hub to be placed in the laundry. After reading that asbestos was used in Laundries and Bathrooms I then checked out laundry and the guy did not clean up after him where he had drilled a hole and the pile of dust was sitting there. (awesome) So today was mask and mob and wiping everying down to make sure nothing was left. However the plie of dust had been sitting in the corner nice and settled for the last 10months.

    Great site nice work :)

  5. david Says:

    can anyone tell me if Fibrolite Drain Pipe 300mm Class 35 has Asbestos in it

  6. Mal Says:

    does anyone know if asbestos fibro always used joiners? I think my bathroom has it but the is no joiner. the sheets just but up against one another.

  7. Norman Bourne Says:

    I have a Logan Kit home, built around 1982, did Logan Homes, use Fibro sheeting containing asbestos at that time. ..??

  8. chris Says:

    Can anyone shed some light on ceilings in brick and tile homes built
    in 1980 and before

  9. Jeff Says:

    Chris: Plasterboard was the choice material for lounge rooms, bed rooms, kitchens, dining rooms also bathrooms.
    However, you might find asbestos cement(AC) sheeting (Fibrolite and AC Hardiflex) in the ceilings of laundries, toilets and verandahs of these older houses. Be aware that many DIYer’s in the 60′s and 70′s may have used asbestos cement sheeting as the ceiling like my father did in the 1970′s when he renovated the kitchen, complete with asbestos walls and ceilings. It’s still there today.

    The house I’m living in now has asbestos ceilings in the laundry, which was built as an addition in the 1960′s.

    Use caution if you suspect asbestos cement sheeting, take a sample and get it lab tested if in doubt.

  10. Paul Larney Says:

    Is Hardies Villaboard P432/92G V2. does it contain asbestos

  11. Ez Says:

    I am renovating the eaves on a very old shed, it looks as though it has had them done before. My question is, The eaves sheets are bent and hanging down and sagging from the roofline like a sheet of rubber, Would asbestos sheeting bend and sag like this? I was under the impression that it wouldnt but can’t be sure.
    Any help is appreciated. Thanks

  12. fred Says:

    asbestos sheets would snap or crack after some time .they dont bend

  13. Mike Says:

    I have a ’40s house – cement sheet inside and out. The rafters are at 550 centres and the sheeting on the ceilings sags so much it has pulled the nails in a couple of places. Base on the last post, is this evidence that it is not asbestos?

    Thanks

  14. kieron white Says:

    I am thinking of taking Clad brick from my house over Christmas, The cladding was installed late 70s and I am not sure if is containing asbestos. How do I know if it is and will I be safe to remove it using safety clothing and equiptment

  15. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kieron,
    Chances are, that is DOES contain asbestos in the form of a asbestos cement sheet backing, as this how is was made in the period (1970′s). Check out the edges or look for a broken corner to see what type of backing it has. Treat it as you would like removing it like any other asbestos cement sheeting. That means disposable overalls, respirator, gloves and boots and hand tools pry bars. But, before you start, calculate the amount square metres you have of the stuff, remembering that in many parts of Australia the law now limits DIYers to only 10m2…so check with local council or State government departments about this.
    If you go ahead yourself, make sure you have plenty of black builders plastic on hand the wrap it up, and choose a non windy day. Try to keep breakage to a minimum, and use a plastic drop sheet to catch any small pieces that may fall on the ground. Spray any broken edges with a PVA glue / water solution. Wrap it all up in the black plastic sealed with tape.

  16. Carlo Says:

    does anyone know about the marking on the back of sheets with a green stripe, stating “asbestos free”

  17. Nolan Scheid Says:

    This is not a scientific test but a quick guideline that we have used. If a sheet or board sounds ‘crisp’ when you knock on it with a wrench OR if it breaks with a ‘snap’ we play it safe and assume it has asbestos. We use this guideline when removing suspect boards and also when we are drilling or cutting through it.

    Thank you for the good article. The pictures are helpful.
    Nolan

  18. shane morice Says:

    The flexibility of a sheet is no sure indication of asbestos content. Some LDB (low density board)is very flexible and yet is A class abestos. Please don,t assume that because the board sags or bends that it does not have asbestos content. Also, tapping a sheet to hear if it gives of a crisp sound is not a sure test, LDB certainly is not crisp sounding.

  19. Nolan Scheid Says:

    Good and important points Shane.
    Our guess only suggests where we use extra caution but in no way excludes other things that could be asbestos based.

    Best regards,
    Nolan

  20. Dianne Wison Says:

    I think I may have asbestos in my meter box, but am not sure, it is a brown color with the word ASBESTO on the back, I am not “wanting” it to be, but does anyone know please ??? All the house wiring is attached to or through the sheet.

  21. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dianne, many old houses have asbestos based backing boards in the electricity meter box. These boards often had trade names of “Lebah”, “Ausbestos”, “Zelminite”. As with most asbestos building products, the danger is when someone starts drilling or cutting it, thus releasing asbestos fibres. If left alone, it poses only small hazard.
    I should point out also, this is something you can’t replace yourself due to regulations regarding mains power 240vac which must be done by a qualified electrician. Make sure you tell your electrician that the board may contain asbestos and take all the necessary precautions when working on it.
    Jeff.

  22. Erin Says:

    Hi,
    I have recently moved into a rental and that has fibro walls inside, and under the eaves and also under the carport. Drains and downpipes are also suspected to be the old asbestos style. Just wondering how safe it actually is? With young children I am very worried, inside the house is in ok condition only nail
    Sized holes throughout. Also the eaves and under the carport the fibro sheets have been painted and the paint is peeling off, is there a safe way to clean this? The paint flakes are constantly falling off and I would rather get rid of it of at all possible. Thanks!

  23. Jeff Says:

    HI Erin,

    This is a valid concern. Inside the house would generally be quite safe, the fibro walls are probably painted which seals in the asbestos fibres. If you’re concerned about the nail size holes, these can easily sealed with PVA wood working glue.

    The peeling paint under carport and eaves is more of a worry. There is potential for the peeling paint to dislodge some of the asbestos fibres as the paint peels and/or loosen the asbestos fibres from the asbestos cement matrix, which then can be blown around by wind.

    Ideally this old asbestos cement sheeting should be replaced with new sheeting. However, since it’s a rental property, this may not appeal to the property owner and a more practical solution must be found. Sealing and painting the eaves & carport is the next best thing to do. Care must be taken in the preparation of sheeting prior to painting. Using a scraper or high pressure cleaner must be avoided, as this will release asbestos fibres. Water blasting AC sheeting may also be illegal in some states of Australia also. Best would be to use a sealer/ binder straight over the peeling paint using a roller and paint brush. After that a good coat of paint should finish the job. Regards Jeff.

  24. Deb Says:

    Hi Jeff
    What an informative site this is. After reading all the above comments I feel I know a little more about this horrid stuff. I am really thankful that one of your readers bought up the question of how to clean this stuff, as I hit everything with the water pressure gun. Lucky we built our house in the last 5 years.
    ‘I am Looking at investing in an old set of units and in the contract it states that is has asbestos cladding.
    Is it costly to remove. ?
    Is it legal to sell a property clad in asbestos?
    If the cladding is asbestos , I suppose the wet areas and eves and possibly roof will also be . I am starting to think that it will be a health trap.

    Also is hebel power panel / Blocks a safe product, as we built our house with it?

    Cheers and thanks in advance Deb

  25. Jeff Says:

    HI Deb, thanks for reading. Yep, asbestos cement sheeting is one thing you don’t want to hit with the high pressure water gun …and could get you into hot water with the authorities in some states.

    Is asbestos expensive to remove?

    It depends on the size of the job. If you’re replacing an asbestos roof for example, not only are you paying for the cost of pulling up and disposing of the asbestos cement sheets, but you also are paying for recladding with new sheeting such as metal / zincalume (or tiles). The same goes for recladding of exterior walls. Take into account asbestos must be replaced in a safe manner (as per worksafe regulations) and the cost of disposal of asbestos will be greater than non asbestos material.

    Some smaller jobs may be done yourself such as a toilet or bathroom, but remember you’ll be limited to disposal of 10m2 of asbestos sheeting at any one time in most states of Australia.

    Is it legal to sell a property clad in asbestos?

    Yes it is. But you’ll probably need a duty of disclosure pointing out the specific areas of the property that contain asbestos. Or if you’re potential buyer of an older property, expect a report from an qualified person that the property does or does not contain asbestos.

    If exterior cladding is asbestos, will the wet areas, eves and roof also be asbestos?

    There is a good chance that the bathroom / toilet will have a wet area asbestos sheeting such as Hardies “Tilux”. Also a good chance the eves will be asbestos sheeting (if it has eves at all). It may or may not have an asbestos roof. Plenty of fibro buildings had sheet metal and tiled roofs as well.

    Hebel power panels do not contain asbestos.

    Hope this helps…Jeff.

  26. nathan Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    you seem to know alot on the topic.. i was exposed about two years ago and im now trying to be very cautious! do you know if fibrolite storm water pipe below groung would contain asi? i suspect it does but would like your opinion. the block of flats was built early to mid 70′s in western suburbs of melbourne, Vic. any info you or anyone else have would be grately appreciated! cheers

  27. Jeff Says:

    Hi Nathan, It’s quite possible it was asbestos cement pipe, as this was widely used during the 1970′s period for sewage and storm water pipe (and other uses). If the exposure was in a workplace situation you may want write down some specific details of the time, date, place and exactly what happened …just in case you need to make a claim sometime in the future. Did you manage to get a sample of the pipe?
    Regards Jeff.

  28. Mel Says:

    Hi jeff –
    Thanks for a great site. I live in a rental house and it has an addition which seem to have both fibro and fake brick cladding. This addition has been my bedroom for five years and the house has not been remodeled since the 70′s. The addition has been slowly sinking into the back yard making the walls stressed and many have cracked and broken. What is the potential health risk to this prolonged exposure? And are there regulations about landlords needing to fix / repair / replace such items?

    Thanks for your help.

  29. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mel, The 1970′s addition would likely be asbestos cement or fibro, the fake brick cladding is also likely to have an asbestos cement backing. Breakage of asbestos cement sheeting can release asbestos fibres into air. The potential health risk is probably low due to slow craking process, but no doubt some fibres would be released over time. The larger cracks could be sealed with a PVA wood working glue (dries clear) which might be worth doing.

    As far as I know, there are no regulations for maintenance or up keep of asbestos cement sheeting such as fences or walls for private dwellings unless there is some clear structural damage. Bear in mind, each local authority across Australia can make their own regulations for such things and may vary from council to council.

  30. Neale Says:

    Jeff,a friend has a house ,highset, timber champher board upstairs with downstairs mainly cladded with what I think is Shadowline cladding around the exterior downstairs perimeter.She wants to have a doorway cut into the cladding downstairs for another entry point.What is needed to have this done?Does it require a qualified asbestos removal accredited tradesman ?

  31. david Says:

    hi i have renovated two housed one of which i think i removed about 20 square meters of asbestos before i knew what it was. unfortunately i wasnt waring anything to protect me. im not a hypocondriact but was wondering if there is anything i should do… should i see a doctor??? fortunatly on the second reno i got a bit more clued up and even though i am farely confident it was cement sheeting i still treated it as asbestos. would there be symptoms two years on if i did get a bit of the stuff into me??

  32. Marie Says:

    Hi there,
    we have a 1985 built brick home. In the corner of the lounge was a Kent wood stove thing which was standing on bricks that had been cemented together and laid down over the top of the existing carpet….weird I know. When we removed the bricks we found they had been sitting on (and glued to) a grey sheet of fibro. Some bricks that had been glued to the fibro came away from the fibro sheet taking a layer of fibro with them and leaving layers of fibro behind. We’ve been told that when you see layers like this in fibro sheeting (sort of looks like those wafer biscuits) that it indicates that it is the modern fibro sheeting made of cellulose fibre rather than asbestos. Is this true?
    Thanks.

  33. Jeff Says:

    Hi, I’d head off to your local GP to get a referral from a specialist. Depending how long ago the exposure was, asbestos related diseases can take a while to appear…if at all. The specialist will probably have you do a chest X-ray and / or a blood test (blood tests are often used to identify asbestos related diseases).
    To make you feel better… my father (who smoked) trimmed a stack of super six fencing in the 1970′s without protection, and he’s going strong into his 80′s.

  34. Jeff Says:

    Hi Marie,
    It could be difficult to guess what you’ve there…the mid eighties was a cross over point to celluose based cement sheeting and away from asbestos. Some early celluose sheeting may have also had asbestos fibres contained in them to use up the remainig stock pile of asbestos.
    You could take a close look at it with a magnifying glass to see any clumps of fibres…however the only definitive way to identify asbestos in cement sheeting is by laboratory analysis.

    As it’s associated with a wood stove (and asbestos was quite often used in high temperature places like this) I’d recommend it be treated as containing asbestos just to be on the safe side. Paint over the bricks with PVA based glue and place the bricks in plastic bags and seal them…along with sheet for proper disposal.

    Jeff.

  35. ric martin Says:

    interested,working in mansfield vic area plenty of shadowline and pinkish flat fibro?

  36. Marie Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks so much for the good advice….which I will take. Better to be safe. Marie.

  37. loretta Says:

    Hi If I send you some pictures could you identify for me if they are asbestos, I have just purchased an older workers cottage dated 1910, and the main room has sheeting but I ‘m really not sure if it is asbestos as it has a very old fireplace and the room looks in original condition. The other areas in the main part of they house are lathe and plaster. Is it dangerous to regyprock over the asbestos I would put up picture rails so that there would be no need to put up picture hooks. I have worked out gyprock is used in other on the outside of the house. hoping you may be of assistance. Kind regards Loretta

  38. tracey Says:

    i have an old timber house with a added on bathroom that i’m positive uses Tilux, even in the immediate shower area. most of it is a light blue colour but in the ‘wet’ areas it’s grey and patchy and rough. if you try to clean it down the cloth pulls off flakey bits which could just be built up dirt. is it possible the Tilux itself is degrading, or is it simply the outer coating peeling off? i will eventually be creating a new bathroom elsewhere but in the meantime is this one ok as is? thanks

  39. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tracey, I know Tilux well as I have it in my bathroom also. Chances are, it is Tilux as you suspect… being an older timber framed house is was a popular product at the time for such wet areas. It looked good, was water resistant and cost effective not to mention easy to maintain. Tilux is pretty tough stuff but it can be cracked or chipped, the surface is quite wear resistant but it’s possible what you have there is the result of some over zealous cleaning. Take some photo’s and email them thru if you like…In any case it doesn’t sound too good if that is exposed asbestos cement sheet. A temporary solution maybe to paint it with a teflon based paint. Regards, Jeff.

  40. Jeff Says:

    Hi Lorretta, sure send thru the pics. Covering over the asbestos sheeting like you say is an option. One thing in it’s favour is it doesn’t disturb the existing sheeting therefore reduces the risk of releasing any asbestos fibres. On the down side, the asbestos cement sheeting is still in the wall making it a potential hazard to any future renovators or tradesmen unaware there is asbestos beneath the gyprock. Regards Jeff.

  41. Shane Says:

    Could you tell me if there is a list available anywhere of all products used in wall cladding, soffits and bathroom sheets in the building industry.

  42. Nicole Says:

    hi,
    we live in a house built in 1950. it has textured ceiling and walls. we have fixed a few small cracks so far but now we have a crack that when my husband started to look at the top layer of celing came crumblong down. theres not a hole or anything, just like a layer came off… what are the chances of it having asbestos and what can i do with out calling the pros and spending a fortune?? thanks

  43. Belinda Says:

    Great information – thanks!
    The house I’m renovating has (almost certainly) asbestos internal walls in the bathroom and kitchen. I’m considering cladding these walls which will seal in the old panels, but to achieve a solid flat wall I think I would need to remove the wooden battens covering the joins between the existing fibro panels. What are the risks in removing the battens? Should I just let them be?

  44. Jeff Says:

    Hi, Belinda,

    Battens like this were commonly used to cover the join between plaster board and Tilux or plain asbestos sheet …and simply were nailed on.

    It shouldn’t be too hard to pry the battens off with a jemmy bar or hammer. The main concern is breaking the asbestos sheeting with unwanted realease of fibres…so go gently! and use a support under hammer such as thin piece of wood to spread the load.

    Sure enough, your likely to get some breakage around the edges of the asbestos sheeting…so be prepared with a suitable dust mast, black plastic sheet taped to the bottom of the wall and some PVA glue to seal the edges.

    Seal the edges with PVA glue even if you don’t get breakage just for good measure. Another thing you might want to do is attach warning labels to the asbestos sheeting before you cover it with new lining as a warning for future renovators (which may not know of the asbestos underneath).

    Jeff.

  45. Julie Says:

    Hi Jeff. We have an asbestos cladded house which looks like ridged wood across ways. To update the look is it possible to blue board on the outside? My husband was then concerned with nail the blue board onto the cladding etc? I have also had a friend who used an insulating company the process i think insuclad? then they pump foam between the walls and then render? would this be a better way to update the outside or get rid of the asbestos all together, im looking for the cheaper solution if you can assist in anyway

  46. Gee Says:

    Hi Jeff and Everyone,

    We have an old hot water service in the roof space. We suspect it was installed when the house was built in the early 1960s. The hot water pipe coming out of the unit is insulated with a brownish colored cladding that looks like wool. Would the cladding contain asbestos? Should we do anything about it? Anyone else have anything similar? Thank You.

  47. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gee, you’re rightly concerned about the insulation around the pipes. Asbestos lagging was quite common around hot water pipes, particularly for commercial and industrial application such as steam pipes and boilers, though it occasionally pops up in residential situations also.

    What you have got there could be asbestos lagging, but keep in mind it may some form of glass wool fibre also. Considering, loose asbestos (also know as friable asbestos) is especially dangerous due to the fact the fibres are not bonded together as they are in asbestos cement sheeting, any wind draft for example could conceivably release asbestos fibres into the roof space!

    Your first step would be to ascertain whether or not it is asbestos. You can either take a sample yourself (be careful doing this) and then have it lab tested, or have a professional come in for an assessment.

    Removal: Check with your local or state authority first as friable asbestos may need to be removed by a qualified person.

  48. Jeff Says:

    Hi Julie, covering asbestos cement sheeting is an option to consider, however doing this never rids the house of asbestos. Future renovators or tradesmen may unfortunately be at risk if exposed to asbestos fibres if for example they are drilling or cutting and hit the underlying asbestos. If you do decide to cover the asbestos, place some warning signs for future renovators or tradesmen.
    My preference would be to remove the asbestos once and for all.

    Confirm first the material IS asbestos, if it’s not, then there is no problem.

    Jeff.

  49. Gee Says:

    Thanks for the info Jeff,

    After further investigation, we believe the lagging is hessian tape. A plumber friend tells us it was very commonly used to insulate hot water pipes in Melbourne houses in the 1960s and 1970s. He’s seen it in thousands of houses he’s worked in over the years and suggests it isn’t a problem. While the hot water pipe hasn’t been disturbed for many years, we’ll probably get it removed for peace of mind. Thanks.

  50. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Congrats on a very informative guide to identification and all things related.

    As a Builder I have come across many jobs with asbestos cladding internal and external and as such, have had the unpleasant task of safely removing it for disposal.

    For all the DIY’s considering removal of asbestos, DO NOT skimp on personal safety. Yes the disposable suits, gloves, rubber boots, safety googles and mask may be uncomfortable, but ask yourself this when you think “She’ll be right”, do I want a lifetime of asbestos related health issues?

    If in any doubt, have it checked out using the methods outlined on this website. I have been using these same methods for years and yet have only just come across this site whilst researching another product.

    I have also noticed over the years that most asbestos cladding in my area has a bluish tinge to it when viewing breaks on areas such as your 1st and 4th photos in the Fasteners and Joiners section.

    Kind Regards
    Mark
    Builder, South East of SA

  51. Catherine Says:

    Dear Jeff,

    Hope you can help me, we have an old farm cottage in Northern NSW built sometime in the 20′s or 30′s or earlier , it has cement sheeting inside and out , was Asbestos sheeting used back then? and if so could I send through some photos too for you to check?

  52. geoff Says:

    Can anyone tell me if old versilux(from the seventies is hard and breaks like old fibrolite?

  53. Karen Says:

    Is there any way for me to safely remove several layers of peeling paint and clean mould off the fibro bathroom walls of a house built by the NSW Housing Dept in 1964?

    Also is there any way to work out if the kitchen is also lined with asbestos containing fibro? It doesn’t have the battens covering the joins like the bathroom and laundry do but I am still worried about pulling out the old kitchen.

  54. Haylie Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    My house is a 1983 brick veneer, we discovered a slow leak in our ensuite and decided that an overhaul was in order. Knowing that the early 80′s was a grey area I made my hubby consult a local Asbestos removal company who told us to take the precautions. He wore all the gear, overalls, P2 mask, gloves, goggles and boots. Room was sealed off and walls were wet down. Breaking the sheets could not be avoided unfortunately. He sprayed everything with a PVA water mix before wrapping them in black plastic and also sprayed down the room.

    I still cannot help but worry as there still even taking all these precautions that there is dust around! Our good friend who is also a builder had a look at the walls and identified them as DEFINATELY villaboard,but i’m still not satisfied!

    Have we done everything possible? What should I do to clean up the remaining mess? I should probably add that we are not living in the house at the moment until reno’s are complete and having two small children want it to be as safe as possible.

    Thanks!

  55. Mum Says:

    Hi, I have a 17 year old who was asked by the boss to demolish a wall outside their work premsis as they were doing some renos. So being the kids first real paid job he did as he was instructed. I now believe the the wall he was asked to demolish contains asbestos. There was no mention of asbestos and no protective measures were taken. Where in Queensland can I get a sample tested.

  56. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mum, check the list of Queensland asbestos testing laboratories here:

    http://asbestosremovalguide.com/asbestos-labs/

    Also, you might want to grab a representative sample of the material your son was working with, while you can (be aware that the demolition may be on private property and you do not have a right of entry). Bag the sample in a clear plastic bag, and write the date and location on the bag.

    Being a workplace situation, there are strict OH&S rules laid down by the Queensland Government in relation to working with asbestos. Consult the nearest Queensland Worksafe office ASAP, as this is within their scope.

    http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/

    Hope it’s not asbestos.

    Jeff.

  57. Jeff Says:

    Hi Haylie, From what you tell me your husband has done an extremely thorough and professional job of asbestos removal in your ensuite.

    Spraying down with water and PVA solution is the way to go to keep the dust to a minimum. Also good job with sealing off the room to prevent any leakage into the rest of the house. Well done.

    If your husband hasn’t already, then the final cleanup should be to wipe everything down with a damp cloth including any ledges where dust can settle, and wet sweet the floor. Do it twice if you want to make sure.

    If your still not satisfied, then you can take dust samples using Lab wipe down swabs and submit them for laboratory analysis.

    Otherwise looks safe.

    Jeff.

  58. Mum Says:

    Jeff, thanks for feedback. He did get a sample on the day and put it in ziplock bag. I did have it identified by a WHSO as asbestos. But I wanted lab tested.

  59. Haylie Says:

    Thanks Jeff, you have given me the assurance I needed, he did wet sweep the floor :) It is hard to tell if the dust is even from the ensuite as we have also taken carpets up in 3 rooms so it is probably just from the slab lol, I will still ensure it is cleaned thoroughly with a damp cloth. I’m overly cautious if that is even possible when it comes to asbestos.

    Great site by the way!!

  60. Ray Says:

    Thank you for providing such a useful and well written resource to the public. I run a skip rental business and I frequently get asked by customers if they can put fibro cement sheeting in a skip bin and there seem to be a lot of missconceptions about when the use of asbestos in building products ceased.

  61. Jeff Says:

    Asbestos waste should not be placed in general purpose rubbish skips as this may result in your rubbish being rejected or being charged a clean up fee at the landfill site.

    Always ask specifically for an asbestos skip bin, as not all companies have these. The asbestos waste is taken to a landfill site made especially for asbestos disposal (and other toxic substances).

    Jeff.

  62. Shell Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    We are about to undertake a kitchen renovation and thought we would start with ripping up the tiles. They are ceramic but are attached to some sort of cement like sheeting. The house is a small Queenslander with VJ walls and tin roof. I wasn’t expecting any asbestos, but now a bit concerned as we took up quite a few tiles before thought we should stop and check.

    I can’t find many details on asbestos sheeting for floor tiles? We will probably err on the side of caution and remove with the required protective clothing, double bagging, cleaning etc. but would like to know if I’m just being overly cautions? Luckily the house is empty so should be able to decontaminate without too many worries if it is asbestos.

  63. Dominic Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I pulled a tile off the bathroom wall, and worried a bit when I saw what was underneath. Some type of fibro cement sheeting broke off. The pattern is the same on the back as the “hardi-flex” in the photos above. Should I be worried (maybe I can send you a photo?)?

  64. Megan Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    We recently bought a house which has been clad in cement sheeting that has been molded to look like weatherboards, I assume the previous owners may have done the cladding sometime in the 80′s. Just wondering if you know if they made this type of cladding with asbestos? We have noticed a few blue fibres poking through where it gets a pelting from the weather.

  65. Jeff Says:

    Hi Shell,

    It sounds like what you have there is fibre cement underlay.

    This has been the preferred method of laying ceramic tiles on wooden floors, especially when it comes to renovating older houses where the floor boards can be uneven.

    This method has gained popularity over the last 15 years or so where traditionally many older wooden houses tended to have lino installed.

    Fortunately, the modern fibre cement underlay is asbestos free, however, asbestos sheet has been known to be laid down in the 1970′s or early 80′s to serve as ceramic tile underlay.

    If it’s asbestos then you’ll need to take extra care and it may be wise have sample inspected before you proceed.

    If you can find out when the floor tiles were laid down, this would be helpful. Anything up to 1985 would most certainly contain asbestos.

    Jeff.

  66. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dominic,

    Well done for being cautious when you saw the fibre sheeting.

    Difficult to say if it’s asbestos or not, but one clue in the age when the tiles where put on. Anything up to 1985 would most likely contain asbestos.

    For positive identification, take a sample to either a laboratory or ask your nearest asbestos removalist.

    Jeff.

  67. Jeff Says:

    Hi Megan,

    This sounds like “HardiPlank”, a product made by Hardies. From what I know, HardiPlank was manufactured in the early 1980′s and contained asbestos. It was later manufactured without the asbestos (using cellulose fibre) however retained the same name.

    This makes it difficult to distinguish between asbestos version and modern cellulose version.

    It’s possible, the asbestos version has the words “Contains asbestos” printed on the back, though this would mean removing a plank to inspect.

    Asbestos HardiPlank came in widths of 170mm, 220mm and 300mm which may help you.

    It’s probably easier to take a sample to your nearest laboratory that does asbestos identification, as this is the only positive way to be sure. This will greatly assist you making a decision rather dealing with an unknown.

    The fibres you describe sure sounds a bit sus though.

    Jeff.

  68. Shell Says:

    Thanks Jeff,
    We went back yesterday with all the right equipment but after a couple of hours bagging we agreed best left to the professionals. I don’t know how people can do it for a living as I was stuffed after a short time in the mask and safety glasses. We left the sealed bags we had done along with a bag with the used safety gear inside the house and called the professionals. I dread to think how much this will now cost to fix. Just hope we haven’t damaged our health too much.

    Shell

  69. Shell Says:

    Forgot to say not sure when the tiles were laid but suspect the late 70′s by the age of the kitchen. Shell

  70. jamie Says:

    Hey jeff,

    I’m restoring a house of 1970s era. Removing an internal wall and ceiling.

    We have started to look at the roof sheets and they look like gyprock but have a fibrous inside to them. Does this sound like asbestos?

    It’s in a back room on the house which has been built on, the exterior walls are solid brick, just the ceiling im worried about.

    Could I send you photos?

    Cheers Jamie

  71. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Send them through. My email address is:

    jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

  72. Carly Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    We have a ex NSW department of Housing house built in 1963 and it is cladded in 3 different types of painted cladding. We are wanting to reclad the house and are wondering. Is it safe to reclad over the existing cladding. We have spoken to a few tradies and they have all said it is fine to do. We have removed a few walls inside the house and all of the panels had the big green Asbestos free stamp on the underside of them even in our bathroom and laundry. My husband and father have been very careful with it and carried out all removals properly. We do not want to get the old cladding removed if it is asbestos as i have been told the costs are massive.
    What would your advice been on this matter?
    Thanks

  73. Jeff Says:

    Hi Carly,

    Thanks for reading. Well done for taking precautions and noting the ‘asbestos free’ stamp on the back of the sheeting, a relief to see those words. Presumably this was retro-fitted sometime in the mid 1980′s. If the house is 1963 vintage then be on the alert for the original asbestos sheeting such as Hardies Fibrolite or the Wunderlich equivalent Durabestos.

    Yes, there is no problem recladding over the existing sheeting. this would be the cheapest option.

    The issue with this option is that the asbestos sheet is still there and may pose a risk to any future renovators or tradesmen when working and are unaware of it.

    Ideally, you should put a few warning labels or notices around where they can be seen. As far as I know there is no legal requirement to put these notices there, but it’s probably a good idea.

    Jeff.

  74. james marsden Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m currently renovating my bathroom an am unsure if the sheeting contains asbestos. Stamped on the back is
    ” Villaboard us 81 N” house was built roughly late 1970′s early 80′s and is in qld and is a lowset brick.
    thanks
    James Marsden

  75. Troy Scott Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for the informative site. I have started a reno on my bathroom – knocked off some tiles to try to identify the sheeting. It is coloured pink and has Wunderlich 9 214 D on the back.
    After reading your site and also coming across a story on the net about Bruce Stafford getting mesothelioma after cutting some pink coloured sheeting – its pretty safe to say that my bathroom has asbestos sheeting so I will be taking all precautions.
    What I am flabbergasted at is that after all the legal battles over the last few years and the legal settlement by James Hardie, I can not believe the Government has not legislated that companies make information freely available on their old products that contained asbestos. I can’t believe that the companies do not feel they have a moral obligation to make the information freely available.
    Anyhow – off my soap box and on to researhing where I can dispose of the stuff.
    Cheers

  76. Jeff Says:

    HI Troy

    Thanks for reading. Yup, my bathroom also has asbestos sheeting, specifically Tilux.

    I agree, many of the companies (and their successors) are not particulary forthcoming in making infomation available on past products containing asbestos. If anyone would know what these numbers mean it would be the manufacturers.

    Much identification work has been done by others, including many of the Aussie State Government OHS departments, asbestos removalists and Unions. Quite a few excellent publications have been produced by state government departments on identifying asbestos products.

    High profile legal battles involving asbestos often remind us of the dangers of asbestos, it’s a public awareness health program if ever there was one.

    However, without this constant reminder, people soon forget about asbestos, unaware of it’s dangers and unable to identify it. A young generation of renovators need to know about the dangers of asbestos in older homes, how to identify it, and how to deal with it safely.

    Jeff.

  77. Jeff Says:

    Hi James,

    Villaboard with asbestos was phased out in 1981. I’d treat the Villaboard installed in your bathroom with caution as it may still contain asbestos. Jeff.

  78. Grant Says:

    i have a timber home built in around 1940, it has a cladding in the bathroom with a tiled pattern embosed, on the back of the sheets is a dimpled pattern that i believe is an indication of aspestos.
    does anyone know of this type of cladding ???

  79. Jeff Says:

    Hi Grant, Sounds very much like Hardies Tilux or its equivalent made by Wunderlich, Duradec. Yes it contains asbestos and treat it with all the necessary precautions as you would with any other asbestos cement sheeting. Jeff.

  80. Vicki Says:

    Hi Jeff, we are looking at a timber home that was built in the mid-1950s – it was an architeturally built home which would have been very modern at the time. A lot of the walls are timber clad but the plain walls do not have the joiners – you can see where the sheeting ends and the next sheet begins – it just seems to curve slightly. Does that make sense? Is there a chance it may not be asbestos? I’m not sure what other products were in use back then.

  81. Rob Says:

    Thanks for this great site, information like this is rare. I heard that there have been recent changes in NSW that now require removal of asbestos fibro cladding before a renovator can brick over. Is this true? When did this new rule start?

  82. Caroline Says:

    This is the best site I have found in my search for answers regarding Asbestos. Thank you so much. I am demolishing an old house built in the late 20′s but renovated and added onto at many different times since then. I have looked at the exposed back of some wall sheeting and found the name Wonderflex. (not wunderflex) Do you know the likelihood of this sheeting containing asbestos? Thanks again for the great info.

  83. R Says:

    Hi all,
    Came across this site and found it to be quite useful.
    My partner and i, are currently renovating a brick home built in the 1970s. We started on the bathroom recently and found that behind the tiles was a layer of concrete, mesh and then pink sheeting that looked in quite good condition possibly installed in the early 90′s.
    Its not until we took more of the tiles of that we saw the name Hardiflex. I initially thought that it would be free of asbestos because it was smooth, no dimples and looked like modern hardiflex. To be safe we got a sample tested in 24hrs by a nata authorised lab following the link above and found that it actually contained chrysotile asbestos. I guess my point is to treat any fibro as possibly containing asbestos and if your going to do any work, get a piece tested, either by having an inspector come out or sampling a piece yourself in a safe manner and by the procedures outlined by the testing lab you choose. I paid $132 because i needed the result back in 24hrs but a least i know now exactly what im dealing with.

  84. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ron, thanks for the comment. Hardiflex is one of the product tradename’s Hardies carried through from the abestos era into the modern cellulose based fibre cement products. It goes to show you have to be careful when coming across later versions of asbestos sheeting.

  85. Jeff Says:

    Hi Caroline, I’ve heard of Wunderflex (asbestos sheeting by Wunderlich) but not by the spelling of “Wonderflex”. I’d love of photo of it if you can (send to jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com). Maybe it was a typing error in the factory? For the time being I’d treat it as containing asbestos until positively identified.
    Jeff.

  86. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rob, thanks for mentioning this. Can anyone give me link to this recent change (if any) I can’t find any reference to this. Jeff.

  87. Jeff Says:

    Hi Vicki, if the sheeting is part of the original structure then it most certainly would be asbestos sheeting. Back in the 1950′s asbestos was the miracle product ( didn’t rot, burn and was termite resistant).
    Other possiblities for the wall are wood based products like ‘Masonite’ or plywood (this would be fairly flexable unlike asbestos sheeting or plasterboard). It may be wise to take small sample to see exactly what your dealing with.

    Jeff.

  88. Frank Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I wish I had of read this site earlier. I knocked down a small retro fitted wall in my bathroom this morning. It had pine studs and a black Hardieflex inscription with a series of numbers ending in 93. Hopefully 1993. Did earlier asbestos Hardieflex have such an inscription?

  89. Craig Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Norman left a comment last (16 August 2010) year asking “I have a Logan Kit home, built around 1982, did Logan Homes use Fibro sheeting containing asbestos at that time. ..??” Do you have any info on this as I about to renovate one of the same age?

  90. Tim Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I drilled some holes in a bathroom wall and was worried because 2cm below where I had drilled I realised (from your pics) is Tilux. The Tilux only seems to go half way up the wall then changes to something much softer like old plaster board?(pics below)
    House was built in 1946 but changed a few times.
    Small hole;
    http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa206/sigmundsound/smallhole.jpg
    Larger hole behind a light;
    http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa206/sigmundsound/Largehole.jpg

  91. Jeff Says:

    HI Frank,
    The numbers on Hardies sheeting is still a mystery, only Hardies knows this and keeps it to themselves. Otherwise you’ll have to take a sample to a laboratory for testing.

    Jeff.

  92. Jeff Says:

    Hi Craig,
    Sorry I don’t have any specific info relating asbestos usage in Logan Homes. The 1982 period suggests you should be cautious, as asbestos sheeting may still have been used in it’s contruction. To be sure, take some samples for lab testing or assume it does contain asbestos and treat it very carefully.

    Jeff.

  93. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tim,
    Great close up photos there. Your correct, that’s plasterboard and it’s reinforced with sisal (A natural fibre often used in making rope, twine and string).

    Your bathroom is very typical combination of lower section Tilux and upper section of plasterboard perhaps with a wooden batten in between.

    My bathroom is like this.

    The Tilux contains asbestos and should be treated with extreme caution when working with it or removing it.

    The plasterboard is user friendly and is non hazardous. Watchout for electrical cables when drilling.

    Jeff.

  94. P Greg Says:

    A great article, and what I have found works quite well is using lots of vaseline jelly near nails, keeping a room very very wet and having a fine spray mist going constantly, keeping a drop sheet in the room and always planning a removal thoroughly. There are so many variables I think its much better to get an expert in to do the job. A very important step also is to throw out everything that can hold any fibres at all, and wash down any tools very thoroughly

  95. Alison Says:

    Hi there,

    We have recently purchased a hoome built around the 1950′s. It is an asbestos fibre cladding home with plasterboard walls internally.
    There is an obselete asbestos flue in the roof which we intend of getting rid of professionally.

    The bathroom has similar blue coloured floor tiles as depicted in your photo. Is there anything we need to worry about if we were to re-tile the bathroom in the future? From what I can remember about the house, the walls have tiles on them so I’m unsure as to what the walls are like.

    Would it also mean we would have to be careful if we were to drill holes through the inside of the walls? There was an extension built in 1999, would this likely contain asbestos fibre walls?

    Thanks

  96. Danger, Beware Home Renovators | Sobox Evergreen Says:

    [...] Click here for information that may help you identify asbestos or determine if asbestos is in your home. [...]

  97. Tracy Says:

    Hi, I deffinitely have sheeting in my bathroom that contains asbestos – it is marked as such. The board under my shower was cracked and repaired probably during construction. Now my shower floor is leaking downstairs and I need to remove and replace at least 1 sheet that will have to be cut. We are retiling the whole bathroom thereby removing all tiles will stripping the tiles up require full safety precautions. I read somewhere that only more than 10m of sheeting needs to be removed by a professional. If I have a tradesman that is prepared to wear all safety gear and knows the process for removal is it safe to remain in the house while it is being done. Apparently you can exhaust fan the air out the window however I don’t think that would be a good idea releasing into atmosphere. Have also seen quote for removal around $65/hr or $20/m².

  98. Jamie Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I’m based in New Zealand, we have a 1970s house. Unfortunately I’ve recently learnt about the dangers of asbestos after I’d drilled/jigsawed a 100mm hole (2 weeks ago) into our eaves to install some ventilation for our dryer. I did this without knowing/taking any of the precautions (part way through I used a R95 mask, which is less than the recommended P2/P3). I’ve since had a sample inspected and found that it does contain asbestos.

    2 years ago I had removed the internal wall linings/gib from a bedroom to install wall insulation (same house). I’m now wondering if the internal wall lining contained asbestos – as you can imagine the removal created a huge dusty mess.

    I’ve recently identified 2 other areas on our property that most likely contain asbestos (old shed roofing, hot water pipe lagging – I wouldn’t have even considered this, and we’ve had plumbers work in this area who’ve mentioned nothing). I’m getting an asbestos professional in this week to inspect.

    I’m sure this must happen to a lot of people, who just don’t know. I’ve been beating myself up about this for the past week. Mostly because we have a 2 year old son, and I hadn’t worn any protective clothing, or protected the house etc. I’m sure I’d handled him during that time, and I’ve washed clothes with dust on etc.

    What’s done is done, I can only hope that in our case nothing untoward happens in the future.

    To your readers that have old houses (ie. < 1990) and are doing renovations, I'd recommend reading up, consulting with professionals, and not take anything for granted before doing the work.

    I'd also say that a lot of these renovation shows/magazines/building stores should be displaying more prominent warnings about the dangers of asbestos in older homes, and where to find professional advice.

    Thanks

  99. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for sharing your renovating experience in New Zealand. I’m sure your right when you say other people are unaware of the dangers of asbestos when doing DIY renovation in NZ. I’m not sure how well government authorities educate home owners about this very real danger in NZ… I’ll be interested doing more research into New Zealand asbestos situation at some stage now you bring my attention it.
    Interesting you mention the plumbers didn’t notice the asbestos either, as this is something they ought to know about, since they are likely to come across asbestos products from time to time. eg. drilling into asbestos sheet and even worst, old asbestos lagging around hot water or steam pipes Possibly they were unware as well,, which is a worry.

    One of the problems with asbestos, is people easily forget about it. If it weren’t for high profile court cases which highlight the dangers of asbestos exposure then nobody would care.

    Certainly renovations magazines should address this issue, yes.

    Regards, Jeff

  100. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tracy,
    Good luck with your bathroom renovation.
    Good to see you identified the asbestos sheeting, and words “asbestos” on the back of the sheeting makes it a really easy identification process, which is often half the battle and worry.

    Turning on the fan will create a negative pressure in the bathroom, thereby making sure any lose asbestos fibres don’t drift into other parts of the house. Negative pressue techinique is used in stripping out asbestos lagging on steel beams on multistorey buildings prior to demolition or renonvation, but in your small bathroom I’m wondering it might stir up the dust even more… and also not to mention the issue of exhausting the air to the outside which could expose the neighbours. Like you say, don’t use the fan, not a good idea in this circumstance.

    If you can, avoid cutting any asbestos sheeting. Try to replace the entire asbestos sheet with modern cellulose equivalent …and then cut that sheet to size and shape.

    Measure up how much sheeting you’ve got, you may be able to DIY this if you’re under the 10m2 limit and take all the safety precautions of course.
    Regards, Jeff.

  101. Jon Says:

    Thanks Jeff for a great site!

    My personal unfortunate exposure reads like a comedy of errors.

    It started with our home kitchen tiles from when I was born..then school floor tiles.

    Next came our home roof tiles…they were flat asbestos tiles I would scrape the tiles clean..getting rid of moss and lichens..did this every year…for about 5 years (year about 1976 aged 8)
    Then my next exposure came at 11 years when my dad wanted me to help him hold big corrugated sheets of asbestos while he sawed them size for a shed roof he was building…I remember being covered in the white stuff like snow.

    I would like to say that was that but no there was more…
    At school we had Asbestos aprons and gloves..in Home Economics..

    At age 35 I was told to repair lagging on water pipes in a well known bakery factory….I was suspicious despite the reassurances of the supervisor that it was not asbestos…yet after getting the OHS company rep to get it tested it was friable types of asbestos…the scary thing is the rep was told to go quiet and i was threatened with the loss of my job….these pipes were throughout the factory/bakery where people were standing and walking…. I left soon after and thankfully the factory closed not long after that..yet it had been around for many many years.

    I remember the supervisor’s retort about my concerns..he said well “all cars and trucks had asbestos brakes…so it wont hurt you !”

    Further on and again asbestos has crossed my path..but this time affecting my family..gee i really hate the stuff these days…I bought our house in 2002….I read the building report and saw no reference to the house having asbestos..but guess what…I was drilling the eaves putting up an outside light..but it was tough going the sheet was very hard…I remember our first born had crawled over to see what daddy was doing and was at thebottom of the ladder..I didnt notice her…and she got some of the dust…at the time I didnt know it was asbestos…later I was lifting up the tiles near the eaves and spotted an Asbestos sticker…Grrrrr I was so angry at this I called the Building Inspector and asked him to pay for the removal of the asbestos or pay for us to move house again…as it was his fault he had not picked this up…however he said he didnt have to look for asbestos and therefore by law he was in the clear..unfortunately at the time 2002..he was right…I fumed..had the rest of the house tested and found more asbestos above the windows and doors and in the bathroom walls.

    It annoys me terribly that my young daughter was exposed at such a young age with no one being held accountable.
    Further asbestos was found when we removed a wood fire..underneath its tiling sat a huge heavy sheet of asbestos…I couldnt believe there was more in this house.

    I plan to remove this asbestos and rid our family of further risk..

    Lately another scare where I have worked has found old asbestos floor tiles used as packing for a false floor..its been there for years…the area has positive pressure and the air is circulated…

    Asbestos is surely a curse of which no one wants to take responsibility for.

    You may or may not know that Asbestos exposure can cause Autoimmune Disease…I now have several Autoimmune disease..which is extremely rare as has my brother who also had similar exposures.
    Autoimmunity runs in families but still needs an environmental trigger…I think Asbestos could be me and my brothers trigger.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253732/
    Asbestos and Autoimmunity
    “Based on the correlation between asbestos-related disease and ANA levels, the results suggest that asbestos is an agent of systemic autoimmunity and that autoimmune responses may play a role in the progression of asbestos-related diseases, according to the authors”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18569382
    “These data demonstrate that asbestos leads to immunologic changes consistent with the development of autoimmunity.”

    I hate asbestos !

    So conversely I love this site and the information it provides to prevent further suffering…Cheers

    Jon

  102. Kylie Says:

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for all this information, it wouldn’t be much of a task to find someone we know that has been affected, exposed or has asbestos in their home.
    I too made the mistake of knocking out a small wall in our 1950′s fibro and drilling two holes in the laundry wall, ironically to install a first aid kit, without any protection and without knowing what I was dealing with.
    In our new home which is a 1920’s cottage I did not have the same asbestos fears until I came across some suspicious debris in the yard. A panic attack followed, then jumping online to work out whether I was over reacting. It’s likely that this debris is the newer ‘Hardipank’ as there were late 80’s/early 90’s renovations completed by the previous owner and now understanding that the new product is very similar to the old one despite being non toxic.
    This information should be so widely broadcast that its impossible to miss! Younger people buying their first home may not know what to look for (I didn’t). Recently in SA there was a home explosion where the nearby residents may be affected by debris, but still no information on what it actually is or what it looks like or what to do!
    My fear now is that asbestos related disease will increase significantly with the older 1950’s, 60 through to 80’s homes becoming in need of repair and more people trying to save $$$ will attempt it themselves without all the info.
    Cheers
    Kylie

  103. Kris Says:

    Hi, really excellent site and I wish I had come across it six weeks ago. Whilst removing kitchen units in my older style (must be before 70′s at least) house I damaged some of the kitchen sheeting and saw what I thought was exposed asbestos. I decided to remove four boards (approx 1.8 x 1.2m each) and took what I thought was the correct precautions. I wore a good quality P2 mask, gloves, googles, and carefully removed and bagged the sheets which came away mainly as large pieces. Two of the sheets came away whole but I then broke them into pieces in order to bag them. They were marked Asbestolux on the back. I didn’t think to use a water spray but I at least wiped over the nails with a wet cloth before pulling them out and washed down the floor area. Stupidly I didn’t wear overalls or dispose of my clothing or the gloves (just gave the gloves an airing). Just as dumb I didn’t seal off the house which is quite open and was at the time very dusty due to ongoing DIY renovations. I then spent the next month living and sleeping in the house. Like I said, I wish I had seen this site earlier! Now I’m beating myself up thinking that for sure I have taken risks and if possible would like an opinion on the degree of risk I may have exposed myself to. Thanks, Kris

  104. Karl Says:

    I am looking at purchasing a garage first erected in 1979 in New Zealand. I’m concerned that the cladding used may contain asbestos. the product used is called Fibrolite hyline. Can you tell me whether it contains Asbestos. If it does I dont want to buy the garage (for obvious reasons)

  105. paul Says:

    G’day Jeff,

    Quick question: Would the internal plaster render of an 1860′s double brick cottage contain asbestos?

    It had rising damp and its color is a brown/red to grey where it is not damp affected.

    I recently removed it and my young son helped me – hence my concern.

    Someone told me that it was not uncommon in Australia for internal rendering to contain asbestos.

    Cheers

    Paul

  106. Jeff Says:

    Hi Paul,

    There is a possibility it may contain asbestos and any patchwork done later like the 1920′s which may also contain asbestos. But difficult to say in your particular case. Certainly some early decorative plaster mouldings also contained asbestos.

    Your best bet is take a sample (if your have any left) for Lab analysis, that way you know exactly the composition of your plaster render.

    Also distinguish this render from any ‘plasterboard’ in the ceiling which has the non toxic horse hair, hemp, sisal or glass fibre added as reinforcement.

    Jeff.

  107. Jeff Says:

    Hi Karl,

    Although I’m not familar with New Zealand building prouducts, the date of 1979 sounds to me like it would be in the period where such product would be manufactuered with asbestos. The replacement celluose fibre cement products started apearing in the 1980′s.

    Therefore I’d say NZ Fibrolite Hyline from 1979 probably is asbestos based.

    Jeff.

  108. Ben Says:

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for your great site.

    We have recently brought a 1940s weatherboard house, which in the 1970 was reclad with asbestos. The sheeting is painted and in good condition. we would like to return the house to it’s former glory. Can we just place new weatherboards over the asbestos sheeting to give us a bit of extra insulation?

    Our bathroom is also asbersto sheet, can we do a similar thing inside and plaster straight over the top of the sheet?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ben

  109. Sharon Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I came accross your website whilst typing in a search for information about any danger from asbestos roof tiles that are broken. The house next door has asbestos roof tiles which are badly damaged, the roof level of the neighbours house is the same height as our second level in our home, therefore when we open all the windows facing their roof the wind blows accross their broken roof directly into our home. I have been interested in finding out if this would present any health dangers to us as we have rather strong winds and we like the windows open so the breeze can cool the house down.

    Kind regards

    Sharon

  110. Robyn Says:

    Hi,

    I am renting a housing department home. I ripped up all the old carpet and installed floating floorboards. There was a hell of a lot of dust and grime. I found an old newspaper clipping under some of the carpet dated to 1952. Obviously I had to rip off the skirts to install the floor boards (I ended up throwing them out as they were rotted) which is where I came across so much dust. I then panicked about asbestos! A little too late I know! Most of the nails came off with the old skirts but a few nails are still in the walls. I’m too scared to rip them out due to upsetting the asbestos fibres in the wall. Is it safe to pull them out and should I be nailing the new skirts back on or just liquid nail them on? Im trying to fix this old run down house up best I can, being a single mum. Its not easy and I had no idea about asbestos until it was too late and now im panicking! What shoud I do?? BTw – awesome website, I just learnt so so much, thanks for the info:)

  111. Sharyn Says:

    I recently had a wall removed from an apartment built in the late 1960′s. The apartment has fireproof ceilings and I had conflicting information from builders who quoted on the work, as to whether the ceiling material contains aesbestos. It just looks like a very thick plasterboard. Can anyone tell me whether the type of thick plasterboard used for fireproof ceiling in 1960′s buildings contained asbestos?

  112. Anthony Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I helped a friend for an couple of hours remove some internal walls and a ceiling from a 1930′s weatherboard home in Victoria. I suspect the walls contained asbestos and a local removalist believes that it would almost certainly have been white asbestos if anything. I’m just wondering if you know to what degree white asbestos sheets may have been contaminated with tremolite from Canada for homes built in this period? The work was done 5 years ago and wasn’t tested so we dont know for sure if it was even asbestos sheets but just after your thoughts.
    Thanks very much. Anthony.

  113. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Sorry for the late reply.

    I can understand your concern. I would suggest unless the tiles have been coated in some way, the tiles would probably be subjected to a certain degree of weathering from rain, wind, hail, heating and cooling effects.

    With tiles subject to this amount of weathering I would expect there to be a release of some asbestos fibres from the asbestos-cement matrix into the surroundings.

    The question is how many fibres are being released and is it a health hazard…

    To see how many fibres are being released, an air sampling audit would need to be done. This is no big deal and is quite often done on large commercial asbestos removal jobs, such as when asbestos lagging is being removed from multi-storey buildings. The down side is you’d probably have to pay for this sampling yourself.

    I’d expect there would be a low level release of asbestos fibres from these tiles.

    There is still some conjecture to whether or not there is a ‘safe’ level of asbestos. Some say one fibre constitutes a health hazard, others say a higher amount. I’d be on the side of caution with this one.

    In a practical sense, you can try writing a letter to your neighbours (or the owner of the building) expressing your concern, maybe they are happy do something about it.

    You can also try contacting your local council, to see what they say. Could be some building codes and level of up-keep required by the local council for buildings such as this.

    Finally, make sure the tiles are asbestos, not concrete or slate for example.

    Regards, Jeff

  114. Jeff Says:

    Hi Robyn,

    Sorry for late reply. Yes… the dust under the carpet could well contain asbestos from the original construction. If the internal walls are fibro, the builders may have used the floor to cut and drill sheets prior to installing them. Yes alarmingly some the original asbestos dust may still be there! This may also be true of soil on the outside of house. This is another thing to be cautious of when renovating asbestos houses.

    With the nails still stuck in the wall, if you can’t pull them out gently with pincer pliers (put some PVA glue over this while you do it to stop any loose material escaping) I’d recommend cutting them of as close to the wall as to you can.

    Yes, use liquid nails to stick the new skirting boards back on.

    Regards Jeff.

  115. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’ve confirmed my 3 bedroom brick veneer property in Colyton NSW contains asbestos. The way I did this, and a message for everyone reading, is to access the original building certificate or D/A, for your property (or the property you lease, etc), from the local council. The D/A or certificate will have complete detail on all materials used. I then confirmed that my eaves boarding had been asbestos cement sheeting, and also found that behind my bathroom walls (which are plaster), there is an additional wall of asbestos (bathroom only). Lucky I didnt go disturbing any of this. My question to Jeff is, what would be the rough cost for removal/replacement of the asbestos eaves boarding with ordinary non-asbestos sheeting (single level b/v 3 bedroom house) and for removal of the asbestos wall sheeting behind the gyprock bathroom walls? Thanks.

  116. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sharyn,

    Confirm or not whether this is Hardies Asbestolux. A low density fibreboard which looks a bit like plasterboard. Check this link from Queensland worksafe for a picture of it and description (Thanks QLD Worksafe for this great info):

    http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/asbestos_factsheet5.pdf
    Note that this is classed as friable asbestos (crumbles easily when touched) so is quite dangerous if disturbed. As such, it requires a licensed asbestos removalist to deal with it.

    Regards Jeff.

  117. Jeff Says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I’ve heard some suggestion that asbestiform versions of Tremolite is one of the more dangerous forms of asbestos and it’s suggested it’s the Tremolite contamination of Chrysotile (white asbestos) that is responsible for mesothelioma. Having said that, there is much evidence to link Chrysotile with mesothelioma also.

    I assume you were removing asbestos cement sheeting as the internal walls.

    It’s really difficult to guage the extent of the Tremolite contamination of asbestos cement sheeting manufactured from Canadian Chrysotile when compared to asbestos sheeting manufactured from Chrysotile which was sourced from say South Africa or even Baryugil NSW.

    Apparently there is low level contamination of Canadian Chrysotile with Tremolite.

    As always, the only true way of knowing the actual composition of asbestos cement products in a particular situation is to have it laboratory tested.

    Regards, Jeff

  118. Melissa Chilton Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great site. We own a transportable house built in the 1950s we think. The internal walls have builders tape joining them. Could you please tell me if it could be asbestos?
    Thanks Melissa

  119. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for that tip on another way of identifying asbestos by using plans and certificates from the local council. Not sure is this is true for all states in Australia, but if your in NSW might be worth dropping into your local council and asking for this.

    As for the cost of removing and replacing the asbestos eaves with asbestos free material such as Hardiflex and removing asbestos from the bathroom…just a rough guess assuming you have tradesman do the job: time to do the work, cost of new materials and disposal of asbestos…I can imagine a trademan giving you a quote of around $6000-8000.
    ~More or less.

    Jeff.

  120. Jeff Says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I used to live in a transportable house, with asbestos external walls (Shadowline I think). Can’t remember the composition of the internal walls (either asbestos or masonite). Bathroom had asbestos (Hardies Tilux)

    The tape could be asbestos based, I wouldn’t be surprised, although it doesn’t ring a bell for me as being used. It could be fibreglass reinforced paper also.

    This may have varied from state to state around Australia, depending on the manufacturer of tranportable homes also.

    Best to take a sample of the tape, put it and plastic bag and get it analysed.

    Regards,

    Jeff.

  121. NP Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am hoping you can help me.
    I am about to purchase a home that is 40 years old.
    A friend came to check out the property and found asbestos underneath the house (where they have made an extension) and also in the shed/ garage.

    I have requested this to be removed before I purchase it but I am concerned that there might be more – the house inside does look renovated though.

    Do you think the entire house would’ve been built using asbestos?

    Thanks,
    N

  122. Jeff Says:

    Hi NP,

    A recent commenter on here has suggested to check with your local council or shire for the original building plans which may list the type of materials used in its construction. This might be worth a try and is easy to ask this.

    At 40 years old.. it’s certainly is in the period where the use of asbestos cement sheeting in the construction industry would have been widespread.

    I’d check the outer walls, bathroom, toilets, laundry, under eaves etc for asbestos cement sheeting.

    Also, does the estate agent or seller have a duty of disclosure for any asbestos on the property? You might want to ask about this.

    Regards,

    Jeff.

  123. Kay Says:

    Hi
    I remove a board and I got a model on the back it is

    HARDIE’S VERSILUX ? W4 V2 & 217 11:15

    is this a asbestos sheet?

    thanks

  124. Kay Says:

    Hi
    I remove a board and I got a model on the back it is

    HARDIE’S VERSILUX II W4 V2 & 217 11:15

    is this a asbestos sheet?

    thanks

  125. Chris - Melbourne Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great site. I have a granny flat in my yard, not sure of the exact age, but the neighbours tell me it is mid to late 1990s. Got two questions for you:

    1) I can tell its made of blueboard since some sections are uncoated. The back side of the blueboard has the letters “BCG” stamped on it, some edges that are weathered look like they are made of layers of paper. Does this ring any warning bells for asbestos material?

    2) The render on the blueboards is acrylic, it melts like plastic when I burn it. Is acrylic render something that is likely to contain asbestos fibre?

    Thanks,
    Chris.

  126. CHRIS Says:

    Hi jeff great informative site.
    My dilemma is I am a builder currently doing a garage renovation. The garage had a white board covering which didn’t look that old. The house had recently been serveyed by a building surveyer and architect and neither had said anything. So our first job was to take this boarding down. I am normally really careful with asbestos and won’t go near it. But this didn’t look like any asbestos sheets I had seen. It is smooth both sides and off white colour, I presumed it was superlux board. So we took it down and on the last sheet were the words asbestolux. On closer inspection the edge of the sheets have what looks like hairs coming out of it. The sheets are not soft and won’t bend the snap clean. But they are not as hard as some of the cement I have encountered. I am now really really cross with myself. I have read that asbestolux was a trade name and they did use alternatives to asbestos even with the brand name on them. The house was built around the late 70s. Is there any way of checking other than sending of for analysis.
    Cheers chris

  127. katie Says:

    Hi really like the website.I am currently renovating my bathroom. My house is within the asbestos era and i am fairly confident that the shed is asbestos after checking your website. My bathroom however confuses me. I have chipped off several tiles and have exposed the walls. When chipping off the tiles some of the sheeting has come off and kind of looks like layers. The back surface looks like moddern Hardiflex (going off your picture)the joins have the plaster mesh tape and there are large letters stamped on the back of one of the boards (they look like lots of A’s hard to tell). Now for the questions 1. If it was asbestos would the tiles come of “cleaner” so is the fact that layers of sheeting are comming of with the glue an indicater that it isn’t? 2. am i at risk in the meantime by having the walls exposed because of the layers that have come off (looks a bit furry)and 3.is it risky to continue chipping off the tiles. Hope this makes sense found it hard to explain and any advice would be appreciated as i am planning on removing the walls back to stud and want to dispose of rubbish safely if need be.

  128. John W Says:

    Jeff as postings are numerous I have not read them all but will offer some information.

    The dangers of asbestos have been known clinically since 1914.

    There is even evidence that the ancient Greeks worked out that the fibres were killers.

    Fletchers as well as Hardies were culprits in manufacturing asbestos products in NZ and knew it was dangerous for many years before the law was finally changed to stop Blue Asbestos importation in the early 80s. They were still allowed to manufacture and products were sold for some years beyond that.

    Any asbestos should be sealed with paint if allowed to remain and label it so any future painter does not sand, scrape, wire brush or waterblast the surface.

    The stuff is deadly and even short ecposure to a few fibres can cause eventual death.

    I am not exaggerating as I have spent hundreds of hours researching and negotiating with ACC on this subject. A special medical Unit is set up in Christchurch to handle information and deal with victims.

    Slow deterioration of health can take anywhere from 12 to 50 years. Many problems can result from these dangerous fibres entering the body by way of skin, ingestion or breathing.
    The exposure time only produces a statistical increase in risk. Blue Asbestos is used in all the products with any curve and is more than 30 times more lethal than White asbestos which is bad enough.

    Even today beware imported items containing asbestos as transnational manufacturers have been found sourcing materials from India and other 3rd world countries with asbestos content.

    A large scale class action is being taken in Australia against Hardies for a massive sum so Hardies moved their money off to Europe to avoid responsibility.

    If you think you may have been exposed then register with the Labour Dept and you and your Doctor will get updates of information and new findings. Many of the conditions are very hard to diagnose and smokers are usually not diagnosed,

    If exposure is in the work place ACC will assist but if it was not in the workplace no assistance is given. Yet the Two companies now cannot be sued in NZ since National passed a law effectively absolving them.

    The number of identified chronic cases is expected to rise as the years of exposure and the deterioration of the cement holding the fibres together all moves ahead.
    In the cities many of our water pipes mains are asbestos pipe with Blue Asbestos. It is a creeping killer.
    Death can be very painful and don’t let the low exposure low risk nonsense guide you right to be very cautious and investigate any suspect material safely.
    Generally asbestos disease conditions do not respond to treatment but the drug Premextred can be used for mesothelioma conditions and may expend life a few months if caught early enough. Cost $5000 a dose or uo to $200,000 for a full course.
    Public awareness is low and little publicity is given about asbestos in NZ , its history and the legacy of manufacture for profit without responsibility.

  129. Jeff Says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the information on the state of asbestos in New Zealand. I’m sure any NZ readers will find what you have written to be quite useful.

    Also, can you give some indication of when the manufacturing of asbestos products ceased in New Zealand?

    Interesting what you say about blue asbestos and the use of curved products. I also read blue asbestos was highly sort after in the USA by gasket manufacturers (40′s 50′s & 60s). Blue asbestos due to its longer fibre properties was the choice fibre to use rather than chrysotile (white asbestos) for such products.

    To clarify for readers, ACC is The Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand

    http://www.acc.co.nz/

    More info on Premextred here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemetrexed

    Regards, Jeff.

  130. Jeff Says:

    Hi Katie,

    The way it peels of in layers does sound a little like Hardiflex, though it’s not a very scientifc assesment. Hardiflex does tend to be a little softer than asbestos (which is brittle). The letters ‘a’ you see could be the asbestos symbol, and being softer material could mean this is late model asbestos sheeting before Hardies switched over to celluose based fibre sheeting. I’m guessing this might be asbestos based material from the early 1980′s.

    Looks like you might have to be careful with your bathroom renovation on this one. If the job’s not too big, you may be able do the removal yourself, just make sure you follow all the safety precautions and dispose of the old sheeting correctly.

    For the time being, paint over the exposed sheeting with PVA glue or paint. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Regards Jeff.

  131. Louise Says:

    Hi Jeff, My husband and I have been renting a property for 3 years
    and recenlty moved to our new home. However recently they decided to look at renovating the property and had someone come out to inspect it. Not long before we moved in they put a ceiling fan into the outside ceiling as it has a section under the main roof between the garage and house that creates a alfresco. Our concern is that this roof runs to the eaves and appears to be made of the same material that the builder informed us could be asbestos. Im worried as we spent many a hot summer days sitting under the alfresco in ths shade with the fan on full while our 1-3 year old played in the cool. I am so worried and can’t believe the electrician didn’t know or tell us either….would there be much risk the sheets are painted but had bee cut to fit the fan. We are no longer living there but I can’t help but be concerned we have exposed our son. Thankyou for your help

  132. Jeff Says:

    Hi Louise,

    The risk to exposure to asbestos fibres would be virtually nil in this case. You mention the sheeting has been painted, which would effectively seal the asbestos cement sheeting. As it is, left alone, it does not pose a danger.

    The main danger with asbestos cement sheeting comes at renovation time and activities such as cutting, drilling, removal and breakage of asbestos cement sheeting have potential to release asbestos fibres.

    Jeff.

  133. Louise Says:

    Hi Jeff, Thankyou the ceiling fan was only put in about a month before we moved in so the electrtion would have had to drill a hole for it to be put into the ceiling but Im hoping all the dust would have been gone by then. It did used to move around a bit as it was one of those ones that is normaly mounted into an inside ceiling with the light and as they tend be a little be flexible as they need the room to accomodate the movement as they rotate so I was worried as it would have been at times hitting the sides of the hole that had been cut to fit (and exposed fibres) fan to the ceiling as it could be potentialy hitting cut asbestos sheeting and releasing fibres while it was on. Sorry I just wanted to clarify it was not one of the pedestal type ones but a proper mounted enteranl ceiling fan that had been mounted to an outside asbestos ceiling/eaves.. I think they tend to be on a ball mount and this creates the swing and movemnet in them. Thanks again and thankyou for offering this fantastic service I only wish all local goverments would get together to make sure practices and pollicies would be put in place for all home owners new and old to be educated on the potential asbestos in there properties and the potentialdangers, thanks Louise

  134. Andra Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    A neighbour has just cut a doorway and window into an old shed close to our house.I had always assumed it was an asbestos/fibro shed and am concerned -our back door was open at the time.The neighbour sheepishly informed me that it was masonite.The sheets are flat with beading covering the joins.Is there some way of telling what it really is through a visual inspection-preferably from a safe distance.

  135. Andy Says:

    Hi Jeff – Thanks for an informative site. I have just pulled apart a wall on a verandah & these are the markings on the back of the sheet.

    HARDIFLEX SHEET 06.10.03 01.05 20311986

    I do not have any relevant date on when the verandah was built – Can you shed some light on the meaning of those numbers?

    Hardies also provide a 131103 to call for a data sheet. This number has been disconnected.

  136. Jeff Says:

    Hi Andy,

    Without seeing this myself, I think the 06.10.03 refers to date of manufacture. So this would be 6 Oct 2003 1:05AM. Therefore does not contain asbestos.

    Hardies generally printed the date of manufacture on modern Hardiflex starting in the 1980′s.. though be careful this is not fool proof method of identification. Some of the crossover Hardiflex from asbestos to celluose in the early 80′s may have similar date markings.

  137. Jeff Says:

    Hi Andra,

    Yes, is not good a situation you have there. I would take a guess it is asbestos cement sheeting rather than Masonite. Masonite tends to be for internal use only and would not be durable enough for external use (would fall apart very easily actually). Plenty of old asbestos sheds still around.

    You might want take the matter up with your local council. Jeff.

  138. Nicole Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Your site is really informative, thanks. We have moved into a 5-year-old property (a rental when we bought it), that had a piece of ?fibro/?cement sheeting with two wooden beams attached, placed on top of the washing line. Not sure why the tenants did this, but we took it down without thinking when we moved in and it snapped. Given the age of the property, we feel it is unlikely to be asbestos, but we are still concerned. Our 2-year-old has been playing in the back garden where it has been lying. We need to dispose of it (and other rubbish) and are concerned about a) moving it and b) whether the tip will accept it. There are no markings on the material. What is the likelihood of it being asbestos and how should we proceed with getting rid of it? Thanks for your advice.

  139. Jeff Says:

    Hi Nicole,

    With the property being only 5 years old, I would have a good guess this is a sheet of modern cellulose based Hardiflex left over from the construction of the house. Modern Hardiflex does not contain asbestos :-)

    However since there is still some doubt, you might want to wrap it up in plastic to be sure.

    But, before you do that…ring your local council to see what your options are in your area. If you’re really lucky, the environmental health officer may be able positively identify the sheet for you (that’s why we pay council rates isn’t it) and advise further for asbestos disposal (if it is asbestos at all).

    If it’s not asbestos, it can be thrown out with the regular rubbish.

    Jeff.

  140. Nicole Says:

    Thanks Jeff for your quick response and great advice. I contacted the council who unfortunately don’t provide this service, but have now arranged for a trusted builder to come and check it out.
    Just a hint of doubt so can’t be too careful.
    Cheers,
    Nicole.

  141. Brad Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    One question that doesnt seem to get answered in the above….

    So the asbestos fibro material is a solid ‘board’? I have sheeting in the bathroom that although has a grey fibrous exterior, looks like ‘gyprock/plaster’… I will get it tested before we do anything, but the presence of plaster tends to indicate that there is no asbestos??

    thanks in advance

  142. Jeff Says:

    Hi Brad,

    Plasterboard and Gyprock do not contain asbestos. A quick identification guide:

    Asbestos sheeting is about 4mm thick, whilst Plasterboard/Gyprock is generally thicker 8mm-10mm. Gyprock is basically plaster sandwiched between 2 pieces of cardboard. Plaster is white & powdery and quite soft. Try the ‘Compass Test’. Grab yourself a compass (the one that’s used for drawing circles) and try to push it into the wall. If the material is Gyprock or plasterboard then compass point will penetrate into it about 1mm. If the material is asbestos, then it won’t penetrate at all. Asbestos sheeting is very hard.
    The tricky part is distinguishing between asbestos sheeting and modern cellulose based cement fibre sheeting which looks very similar.
    Jeff.

  143. Brad Says:

    thanks Jeff,

    Brilliant service you run here….

  144. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    thanks for your response to my November 29th posting… I ended up getting some quotes and there is one very reputable major corporation based at Blacktown who have quoted $4000 but dont resheet.. They appear to be “the works”, HEPA vacuum cleaners, full suits and respirators, very impressive website with details of projects for both commercial and residential…. Then I got another quote (again, removal only), and they said $2400. These are relatively smaller operators, but the price difference causes fear that the cheaper operators may take shortcuts which may leave fibres or dust behind or even break the sheets or not wet them correctly prior to removal, etc. Do you think I should fear this with the cheaper operator? I therefore feel inclined to go with the more expensive operator.
    Have heard of a horror story at one of my friend’s houses at Padstow NSW. Several years ago, asbestos removalists had been contracted to remove the asbestos roof from the couple’s garage. The couple reported that the contractors wore a protective white suit however that 2 of the workers reportedly mostly had their masks off for more than 50% of the time as they were smoking during the removal. And what’s worse is that the husband of the couple reported that he coughed that night like never before in the past! This subject only came up a few weeks ago and when I told them this, they are now going to both seek lung X-Rays from their local GP so as to check the lungs for asbestos.
    But to any other readers here, play safe, do NOT take asbestos for granted. My property is a 3 bedroom brick veneer in Colyton NSW built in 1979 and at first thought, the average Joe blow would never imagine a brick dwelling containing asbestos — wrong! The eaves boarding is asbestos, as is the bathroom (not the actual walls as these are plaster, however behind the plaster, there are asbestos sheets). Thirdly, 2 small boards on the tiled roof to close off the end of the east-west roof and link it to North-South. I have confirmed all of this by accessing building plans from Penrith City Council and urge anyone in NSW to do the same. With Penrith City Council it was a free service, I simply contacted them and made an appointment to view the original document. I then viewed and asked the administration officer to photocopy and upon studying the 10 or so pages in detail, I knew exactly where the asbestos was and can now play it safe. Better safe than sorry, don’t go putting yourselves at risk, this stuff is one of those silent killers that I believe fails to receive the attention it should in the mass media to allow more to identify and recognise it. Ideally, laws need to be brought out to make it mandatory for all of those renovation-type reality shows on television to carry warnings on asbestos as well as regular campaigns on the mass media with good use of pictures (a picture is worth a thousand words!) to enable all to easily identify it… The trouble with a pink-batts style stimulus package for asbestos removal is that every Tom, Dick & Harry and fly by nighters would join the asbestos removal profession overnight and imagine them (no experience, no safety just dollar chasing) removing asbestos from your house! I know of countless examples like one in the year 2000 when one son and his father built a back shed behind their mini supermarket at Kingswood (NSW) out of asbestos sheets! When I visited and advised them in 2008, the son couldn’t believe the material he had been dealing with had been this stuff! Everyone here, do not take asbestos for granted, let’s no be a statistic, it is a killer!

  145. Penny Says:

    I just tore off the wall paper in my bathroom of a house built in the 50s. Under the wall paper is some type of panel board that seems to have had something similar to conact paper glued to it (it looks like the panel boards came that way). In some spots the “contact paper” had come unglued and was separated from the panels and in others we peeled it away which took the top layer of the panel causing some dust (very little). The panels are a dark brown board. It doesn’t look like the fibre in the pics above. I am wondering if this type of board contains asbestos? If so, can it be painted over to seal or does it have to be removed and replaced with drywall?

  146. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,
    Some fantastic advice there for readers.

    As for choosing a cheap asbestos removalist versus the more expensive removalist, I agree with you..I’d pay the extra $1600 have it done by the reputable company.

    Regards Jeff.

  147. Jeff Says:

    Hi Penny, the brown colour of material underneath the wall paper suggests it might be a wood based material (such as Masonite). Fibre cement such as asbestos will usually be grey colour and quite hard. You might be best to get someone in the positively identify the material before you begin renovation.

    Regards Jeff.

  148. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Thanks Jeff, one final message from me as I feel bad I’m posting too many posts people will think I’m trying to take over the site off you.

    All I wanted to do is share my experiences of asbestos knowledge in motor vehicles as I’m also a DIY mechanic when not working for the government in my day job.

    Just so people are aware, older vehicles used asbestos brake pads as the original pads at time the vehicle left the production line, as well as (for manual transmission vehicles) an asbestos clutch friction disk (some people call this the clutch driven plate).

    I have a 2000 Land Rover Freelander & a 1997 Mitsubishi Lancer both with manual gearboxes and also a 1994 Holden with an automatic transmission. Have written to Mitsubishi Motors Australia & Holden who both promptly replied : Mitsubishi stopped using asbestos products in their vehicles in 1992 and Holden in 1993. Land Rover were too busy to reply to me, however I’ve found out from other sources that generally prior to 1995 there isn’t any asbestos in clutches/brakes.

    The Ford Festiva just so readers know as they are quite popular here & mum has owned a 1999 manual one since 2004, was not actually made by Ford (have a look at the compliance plate) but was made in Korea and by Kia Motors. I have been told by persons from the industry that the one to watch out for are the Korean made cars like the Hyundai Excel & the Ford Festivas as the original clutch disc & brake pads (up to & including year 2000 models) may contain asbestos.

    We banned asbestos nationally in 2003, the UK did in 1999, but the Asian world is a different story sadly. Many of the Asian countries still have not banned it, though I believe South Korea & China may have in 2011 (not confirmed, something I read somewhere).

    So for all you DIY mechanics out there, take caution if replacing the clutch or brake pads as if they are originals, they may contain asbestos. Mum has a 1999 Festiva & it’s time for a clutch change & I’ve decided not to do any work on it but to sell it instead rather than work with asbestos risks. As a DIY mechanic or even for mechanics out there with their workshops, the worst thing you could possibly do is on a car made before 1995 or 2000 if Korean, is blow the brake dust with a compressed air hose, as this will probably send asbestos dust & fibres through your workshop!

    If your unsure, it is best to leave the work to a professional or if really want to tackle it yourself like me, assume it is asbestos. So remember to wear all of the protective gear, thoroughly wet down the existing components & nearby components & remove the old (asbestos) part in an approved asbestos vacuum sealed bag & dispose legally. While its still saturated, wipe everything down with a wet rag & remove/dispose of the rag as well as the clothes you wore for the task. Try and work in a place with good ventilation.

  149. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Readers,
    I just wanted to stress that I am not an industry expert & if in doubt, it is best to assume it is asbestos. Although I have received confirmed off Holden & mitsubishi in writing, what I stated about the Ford Festiva & Hyundais & Land Rovers is just my own opinion from what I have heard (about whether or not it is asbestos). There is this website for example http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z8452/Hyundai-Accent.aspx
    which states at one point, “Hyundai has eliminated the use of asbestos in gaskets, brakes and clutch discs”, the the title of the page is “2005 Hyundai Accent images”. And it’s also an American site. Remember that car makers had different scenarios with different countries with their vehicles, for example, one model shipped here or there may contain asbestos whilst the other may not have shipped there, etc. So the years i have mentioned in my postings (except for Mitsubishi & Holden) are just a rough guide only and have no expert or written confirmation behind it, just so you all know, and is solely my own opinion designed for the benefit of readers like yourselves to provide you, and your family & friends, with greater awareness of where asbestos may be found. As a general rule of thumb, unless you have written confirmation from a credible source like the car maker after you have quoted the VIN or chassis number, then it is better to assume that it does contain it.

  150. Corey Says:

    Hi Jeff

    A quick question. I cleaned out the dirt and dust from an old shed I suspect is cladded with asbestos. I used a soft bristle broom to wipe the cladding, and a lot of old dust (brown dirt mostly) came off. Would this be enough to break down the fibers?

    Corey

  151. Seb Says:

    Hi. Just wanting to know if asbestos-free cement sheeting can have the ‘layered’ look and also have a fibrous look to it, ie, like the small clumps/ in AC sheeting?

  152. Seb Says:

    Also, I’ve had lab-tested and confirmed asbestos-free, sheeting that had that honeycomb effect. Have you come across this?

  153. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    A good point you mention about potential asbestos hazards in old cars, that being brake pads, clutch plates and gaskets.

    I’m a car tinkerer also, and well aware that many of the old cars out there which are waiting restoration in peoples workshops but may still have asbestos containing parts fitted. These represent a hazard come restoration time if not handled carefully.

    Also I should mention many ‘new old stock’ or NOS parts sitting on peoples shelves, still unused but containing asbestos. I know this from personal experience, as I several brand new clutch plates, brake pads and gasket sets for my Morris which I purchased in the 1990′s, I know it’s asbestos as they have warning labels on there. I also have some rolls gasket paper for DIY gasket making which I suspect is asbestos based made by Richard Klinger Gaskets from the 1980′s.

    Jeff.

  154. Jeff Says:

    Hi Seb,

    Yes modern celluose fibre cement sheeting such as Hardiflex and Hardifence sometimes has a layered appearance if you look at a broken edge & sometimes you can pull the layers apart.

    I haven’t noticed this layering effect so much with old fashioned Fibrolite.

    Also, if you look carefully at a freshly broken piece of Hardiflex, the break will reveal some of the cellulose fibres, sort of a fuzzy appearance and looks somewhat like torn cardboard.

    The layering effect, I suspect is a result of different manufacturing techniques used to make cellulosed based cement sheeting and and not so much to do with the composition.

    The honeycomb effect you mention, would be pattern on the back of flat sheeting I presume? Old Fibrolite has a dimpled golf ball appearance, quite distinct. There seems to be several different patterns on the various sheetings.

    I should point out these differences between asbestos sheeting and cellulose based sheeting are not always reliable indicators esp. with later sheeting. It should be used in conjuction with other evidence, such as any markings, dates of manufacture, age of buildings and finally if there is still some doubt, the material should be lab tested.

    Jeff.

  155. Jeff Says:

    Hi Corey,

    I wouldn’t recommend any sweeping action on asbestos cement sheeting. This has the potential to dislogde loose asbestos fibres into the surroundings. Best left alone and untouched until a removal plan has been thought up.

    Jeff.

    Jeff.

  156. Seb Says:

    Thanks Jeff. Yes, I was meaning the golf ball, dimpled pattern on one side of cement sheeting. I was aware of it being common with asbestos containing sheets, but also have come across it on asbestos-free sheeting. So, I was curious as to whether you had also found this.

  157. Angie Says:

    We are renovating my daughter’s house and the walls are lined with Hardiflex B1 1 269 95H2 and 3K071 Hardiflex W42D62965 NO – does anyone know if this contains asbestos. Also as this has been worked and if asbestos is made airborne, does the asbestos stay in the air for always, or is it safe after a period of time?

  158. Kirsten Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Great website.
    How commonly was asbestos used in ceilings? I’m renting an old house about 50-60 years old and I know there is asbestos fake brick cladding, ac sheeting on the outside of an extension, the list goes on. It seems to be everywhere. How likely is the ceiling to be asbestos instead of normal plasterboard? I worry because it’s really cracked and a bit saggy from water damage.

  159. Kirsten Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Maybe I should add – the ceiling has those battens similar to the ones in your picture. Is that an indication?

  160. Jeff Says:

    Hi Seb,

    That’s quite interesting. I’ve been checking my older style asbestos free Hardiflex, and it doesn’t have the classic golf ball dimple pattern

    It’s possible, this patten may differ from where the sheeting was manuafactured throughout Australia. The sheeting I’ve been looking at is manufactured in Perth. However, it’s possible sheeting produced in other states of Australia may have a different pattern on the back depending on the machinery that was used at the time. And this could alter from year to year.

    Thanks for pointing this out.

    Jeff.

  161. Jeff Says:

    Hi Angie,

    The numbers are part of Hardies manufacturing codes, which they don’t reveal.

    I suspect this is sheeting contains asbestos and is prior to Hardies started putting on an asbestos warning labels on their products (which was in the early 80′s).

    Later ‘asbestos-free’ Hardiflex has the time, date and year printed on it (and other codes).

    Treat with caution until positively identified.

    Asbestos fibres will eventually settle onto the ground, window sills, or like any dust anywhere they can settle…so an asbestos cleanup will involve wiping these surfaces down with a damp cloth, or by using HEPA vacuum cleaner.

    Jeff.

  162. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kirsten,

    Asbestos was quite often used in ceilings, particularly in the laundry of many houses from 1950-1970′s and to a lesser extent in other rooms. Plasterboard did give a better finish, so it was the material of choice to use in bedrooms, living, dining rooms & lounge rooms.

    Your house which is 50-60 years old, is in the asbestos hey day period, so it’s a good candidate of being full of it.

    The sagging ceiling does sound somewhat like plasterboard, which it typically does in older homes, even more so after it has become wet from a leaking roof. Fibro sheeting wouldn’t sag so much I’d expect unless there was some damage to the roofing timbers.

    Procede with caution, confirm the material is plasterboard by asking a someone to visually inspect it.

    Jeff.

  163. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi Jeff, just wanted to add to your January 27th posting to Angie re: the asbestos warning labels, my property has those. It is a completely red label about the size of 4x 50 cent coins put up against each other and reads “Danger Asbestos”. This was found on the up side of my asbestos eaves boarding, but interestingly, only at one particular position (not every eaves board of the property), just the Eastern side. I noticed this in 2007 as I was changing a few concrete tiles at the edge. The property is a 3 bedroom brick veneer built 1979/1980, building certificate which I accessed from Penrith City Council (which confirms asbestos material for the eaves and 1 other location in the property) is dated 1979 so sounds like commenced build 1979 completed 1980. Would it have been common they use the warning labels on a single part of the whole eaves section, not more frequently around it? I guess then if readers see an absence of warning labels on, say for example, eaves boarding, doesn’t mean it’s not asbestos simply due to this, because judging by my property, they may have affixed the warning label on 1 particular section of the eaves.

  164. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Looks like I have read this site a little late. I removed some sheeting
    today with the hardiflex name on the back. House was built in 70′s.
    I was wearing mask but that is about it.
    My question is did all hardiflex products contain asbestos or were
    different types manufactured for different uses some with and some without asbestos?

  165. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks again for this valuable information.

    The red warning label was placed on asbestos cement sheets from the late 1970′s. I’m still looking for photos of these to post up on the website.

    The labels were put on by Hardies after growing concern from builders and customers about exposure to asbestos when working with AC products.

    Typically there would be only a few stickers (maybe only 1) per large sheet (1200×1800, 1200×2400 etc) which would have been cut to size on site and nailed on..so not every piece of asbestos has a sticker unfortunately. Though, better than no sticker at all.

    Also, thanks for pointing out about a record of building products used in the construction maybe available at your local council in NSW.

    Regards Jeff.

  166. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Hardies introduced Hardiflex in the 1960′s containing about 15% asbestos AND cellulose fibre (which made it more flexable). The name Hardiflex continued on throughout the 1970′s and 1980′s. When the switch was made to eliminate asbestos from all Hardies products, some product names were abandoned(like Shadowline) others renamed (like Super Six to Hardifence), however the name Hardiflex was retained. This often adds to the confusion surrounding Hardiflex. Thus, there is asbestos and non asbestos versions of Hardiflex.

    Jeff.

  167. Anthony Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    We’ve recently discovered some super six fencing at our home in Ballarat, Victoria. Just wondering if you know what type of asbestos (white, bllue or brown) was used in the manufacturing of super six?

    Thanks.

  168. Jeff Says:

    Hi Anthony,

    Hardies often used a mixture of the 3 different types of asbestos at various stages…and often tweaked the mix to suit.

    Very early super six from the late 1950′s and early 1960′s contained a mixture of blue asbestos (crocidolite), white (chrysotile) and possibly brown (amosite).

    The blue asbestos was phased out of Super Six and most other products (probably with the exception of asbestos pipes) in the later 1960′s (due to it’s extreme danger).

    White Asbestos and probably a smaller amount of brown asbestos was used in the the mix there-after until it’s eventual phase out in the mid 1980′s and switch to the cellulose fibre products (renamed to Hardifence).

    Brown asbestos is considered the second most dangerous form of the 3 asbestoses.

    Jeff.

  169. Steph Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Great website with loads of info.
    A friend has told me that even if a house is made with external boards which contain asbestos, it’s unlikely that interior walls (with the exception of bathrooms and laundries) would be made with asbestos materials and more often be plasterboard. Is this correct? I’m considering purchasing a house which I assume is hardiplank on the outside. If purchased, id want to do some major works inside(including wall knockdowns).
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance!

  170. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Just a quick question again. On the upside of plaster board ceiling at my 1979 build 3 bed brick veneer, it has stamp “Australian Gypsum”. Would this have any content of asbestos in it? I tried to do some quick research on-line and cannot associate asbestos with it except this one website which writes the following : “Some examples of National Gypsum Company products that once contained asbestos include:
    •Gold Bond Asbestos Permaboard
    •Gold Bond Plaster
    •Gold Bond Tar Paper”
    The website is: http://www.asbestos.com/companies/national-gypsum.php and is American based, but I thought it’s best to ask yourself about it. The other suspicion is that the Australian Gypsum plasterboard would have been produced when asbestos was being used in it’s peak heyday thus the suspicion.

    Just something else, the asbestos sheeting in my bathroom does not have battens (like the traditional types we see enclosed with battens) but is actually just a single sheet, exactly like plaster board. Nicely sealed and painted bonded asbestos. The only way I knew it was asbestos is by the original bulding certificare from council and, this I learnt from people inspecting recently and giving me quotes, the knock on the asbestos sheeting has a rock-type sound behind it. When the inspector knocked on ordinary pinewood walls in the remainder of the dwelling, it was just a more hollower knock, you could easily tell. But thought I’d also inform your readers, just because it isn’t enclosed with battens, doesnt mean it’s not asbestos. This is a single sheet nicely painted exactly like plasterboard! I can only imagine people across the country doing their own home renovations and smashing walls like this to smithereens not knowing what it could potentially be.

  171. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    I say tax cuts for individuals for asbestos removal! Surely Rudd can come up with this initiative when he gets in shortly, otherwise if he doesnt, then Abbott can do it. I think this is one of the best ways to start putting asbestos back where it wont hurt anyone – in the ground! This will indirectly also start promoting greater awareness of it which probably means greater numbers of incidents of otherwise accidental exposure prevented.

  172. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Interesting you mention this. I’m currently in Malaysia, and have spoken to an asbestos expert here, and it seems loose asbestos fibres were added to the mix of some plasterboard products in Malaysia due to humid climate. As far as I know, asbestos was not added to plasterboard in Australia.

    However, with your research showing it was added to some plasterboard products in US… and myself just being told it was added to plasterboard in Malaysia, I’m beginning to have suspicions now about Aussie plasterboard, esp plasterboard in humid climates such as Queensland. I think this needs further investigation.

    Jeff.

  173. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, I think asbestos is fairly low on the list of priorities of most pollies. Although Greg Combet is one exception. Certainly a continuing asbestos awareness campaign ought to be the domain of government departments and should be on the list. In the past, the unions have often been pivotal to awareness of asbestos in the workplace and the greatest awareness campaigns have been the high profile court cases such as the Bernie Banton vs Hardies. The DIY home renovator doesn’t get a lot of concessions from governements, it’s up to the indivudual renovator to make themselves aware of asbestos and deal with it. Jeff.

  174. bp Says:

    I have removed a wood heater from our mid 80′s house and found it sitting on a layer of bricks which were sitting on a fibro cement sheet. The sheet has the name Hardies written on it, with the same pattern as shown on the hardflex picture above (the non-asbestos one)

    Also, printed on it are some numbers, with borders around each one.

    I can see on the edge that it is made up of layers which can be pulled apart and the broken edges are furry

    From what I have read these things suggest that its non-asbestos and just wanting to confirm..

    Thanks, bp.

  175. Rich Says:

    Did you know it explodes?

  176. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    G’day Jeff,
    just for the benefit of readers here and yourself, I emailed both CSR and Boral as either of them would have been the suppliers of the “Australian Gypsum” ceiling plasterboard in my brick veneer property built in 1979 in Colyton, NSW. They are the ceiling plasterboard and are marked “Australian Gypsum”. I dont think they are CSR I think they are Boral, CSR replied, and a week or more later, still no reply from Boral. Here is CSR’s reply to my enquiry:

    “Jason, CSR plasterboard has never had asbestos in it. However, we are not familiar with that label – our board was usually identified with CSR branding. It is unlikely that any plasterboard has asbestos but if it is not CSR branded then you should have it tested or identify the manufacturer. Michael Ryan 1800 621 117″

    So there’s some positive there for readers. However it would be good to get a reply off Boral.

    In the event of any reply I am thinking of having it tested. When a cool day rolls across Sydney, I might go crawling up in the roof cavity area (I’m 189cm tall!!) and I think I might even be able to find some serial numbers on it or ever chunks laying around freely from when the place was built when they cut out holes for the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, etc….

    True the Malaysians did it, but they like all Asians love their asbestos, practically many of them still use it today. The Yanks had done it, but that doesn’t mean we did. Or maybe I’m thinking and guessing what the mind wants to hear, maybe a bit of Murphy’s Law??!

  177. Linda Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Thank you for this extremely useful website. I have some questions and quite possibly they are a lot of others in our position, so your responses would help others apart from us. I’m using this excuse to ask you several questions!
    We have an old weekender that is wall to wall asbestos, with what looks like Tilux in bathroom, kitchen and outdoor laundry/shower. The place is painted inside and out so hopefully the asbestos is in a stable condition and we are very careful not to disturb it. The house is on a big block in a very good position and, judging by what’s been happening in the streets around us, if we sell the place it will be demolished to be replaced by several townhouses. So the place would sell on landvalue only, with its price diminished because the area is famous for asbestos weekenders, so buyers all factor asbestos removal into the price. What this means is that there is no real point in us spending a lot of money renovating it.
    However, we love this little place (death trap although I suppose it is!) and plan to keep it for as long as possible. For our own benefit, we’d like to improve the 1950s era kitchen a little(since the Tilux is cracked, the taps are disintegrating, sink unit waterdamaged and sagging etc). However, we wonder whether if it’s all best left undisturbed, perhaps just adding another coat of paint. I don’t want to remove the Tilux, so I’m wondering how practical and safe it would be to tile over the Tilux or alternatively install new waterproof panelling over it (of course we’d tell any future buyers). My questions are these.
    1) Am I right to think precautions have to be taken to prevent dust when the sink unit and cupboards are removed, even if the tilux is kept in place? If so, what precautions?
    2) If we opt simply to replace the taps or the whole sink unit, will that release asbestos dust too?
    3) If we opt to do nothing and leave everything in place, what would you recommend to seal and conceal cracks in TIlux (so it doesn’t look quite so awful)?
    4) What precautions should be taken when replacing rotted window frames around the house?
    5) Finally – to test your patience a bit longer! – any other ideas to improve the kitchen safely (and maybe the bathroom at some future date)?
    Thanks again for your great website

  178. Builder says it's not asbestos, but...? Says:

    [...] to this: How to identify asbestos fibro when doing renovations | The Asbestos Removal Guide Villaboard became asbestos-free in 1981. So… get it tested or if you can't wait, make your [...]

  179. Ellen Says:

    Hi

    I came across your site when trying to determine if a shed on our new property contains asbestos. Now I’m concerned me and my family may have been exposed to asbestos at the end of last year. We were renting a (not particularly well kept) fibro house and the landlord wanted to renovate the bathroom. He was going to do this while we were away on holiday and we were supposed to come back to a finished bathroom, instead we walked into a dust laden house with a bathroom that had only a bath in it and the tiler had barely started. It was nightime when we arrived home and so we wearily cleaned up the mess ourselves. The dust was throughout our house, including on my children’s toys. The builder assured us that we didn’t need to be concerned about asbestos, but now I’m feeling very stressed about it. There wasn’t any sheeting aroung the bath/shower – it was tiled and the walls above the tiles wallpapered. We don’t live there now (thank god!) so I guess there isn’t anyway to find out if we were exposed?

  180. Seb Says:

    Hi there. I’ve read recently that some are saying people should take the same precautions with Asbestos replacement boards. What is your opinion and do you think that implies even making sure it is sealed to prevent ANY fibre release? A great deal of this boarding is lying exposed in all sorts of conspicuous places- including my daughter’s preschool! Thanks in advance.

  181. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    To the February the 20th poster ‘Ellen’, just out of interest, after everyone walked in to that dust, just some questions. (1) Did any one of your cough at the time of the hours immediately afterwards, like cough quite a bit following walking in to the dust, and secondly, if anybody coughed at all, did anyone by any chance cough up any blood? Reason I ask these is compare it to people who have told me of their experiences following exposure. Dont use this as a guide, i’m not a medical professional, i just want to compare your responses with persons who have been exposed who have spoken with me previously drawing on their experiences.

  182. Ellen Says:

    Hi Jason

    No, I don’t recall anyone coughing an awful lot and there was definitely no blood coughed up…

  183. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Ellen,
    if your weighing up whether or not you or your family suffered exposure, I’d say chances are greater No than a yes based on this. I noted in a posting on this site many months earlier where one of my friends who own a property in Padstow NSW 2211, the male person of the couple “coughed like never before that night” following the removal of an asbestos garage, which the man’s wife believe was not done so as to contain or minimise dust. On the bases of probabilities, he may have been exposed. I know another example where a man who has a property in the western suburbs of Sydney had set out to repair a small hole in his asbestos wall in the WC closet. He sanded and sanded the wall, then patched then painted. When I spoke to him and told him what it had been, he told me that he coughed and coughed up blood at the time. I told him what it was his reponse was similar to “what’s that?!”. I told him to go and see his doctor and advise him of this and then ask for a lung xray to check for asbestos. I’d say there’s minimal chance you or your family were therefore exposed. Even if you were, based on this, it possibly means it wouldn’t be any cause for panic as it’s hardly likely to be a deadly amount. If it makes you feel better, you and your family can go and see your GP and tell him or her what happened and then ask for a lung Xray to check for asbestos. Something else you can do is apply through the local council in the area to attend council and view a copy of the original building certificate of that property. Even if you are not the owner, when you apply, there may be some small administration fee to view, but they cannot refuse it as it is considered to be a public document. The building certificate will detail materials used in the construction of that dwelling. I have a 3 bedroom brick veneer property at Colyton NSW 2760 and a few years ago I applied to view the original building certificate through Penrith City Council. I logged on to their website, filled out a form, posted and with a money order, and attended their office many days later and viewed the original building certificate from 1979 when the dwelling had been built. My suspicions were correct, the bathroom walls are asbestos, as is the eaves boarding and 2x gables on the concrete tiled roof. My family and many of my friends had been very surprised as it’s a typical brick veneer house built in 1979 quite modern with clay brick and tiled roof, but that surprise is the whole idea we need to get out there to people to be more vigilant and aware of this stuff. From 1989 till 1999, from when I had been 9 till 19, I resided with my fokes in a weatherboard dwelling not far from here and they sold that house in 1999 (thanks god for that!), however as it had a garage with asbestos walls and an asbestos roof and a shed with same as well as a/c (asbestos cement) walls in the bathroom, even though i cant remember we ever disturbed it, i still went to my GP a few years ago for an Xray and so did my mother and father to test for presence of asbestos in the lungs, all came back good and negative. Hope this helps a little. I’ve also noticed that if people want to remove asbestos, they are better off managing their own projects and thus selecting their own asbestos removal contractors. If you let someone else manage your whole bathroom or kitchen renovation, the risk is that they may utilise the cheapest or lowest cost asbestos removalists. With the 2 quotes I received, I have done some research and selected the more expensive one as I can be assured that the asbestos from my property wont be dumped illegally putting people at risk and that it will be a proper full job not half baked at risk of leaving dust or fibres behind.

  184. Sara Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for such a great website! I have recently been offered a house from NSW Department of Housing, it is a brick home with new paint and what appears to be a new kitchen, it also has new carpet. I have a 3 year old and I am so worried that their may be asbestos dust around as a result of these refurbishments. Also, inside some of the newly painted walls have the wooden battens, does this guarantee its asbestos? I am so paranoid about this dreaded stuff!! Any advice or info would be very much appreciated.

  185. Ingrid Says:

    Hi, great information! I have a 2 year old and am renting an old renovated beach shack from the asbestos era. I have read there may be asbestos in pipes and gutters- ours are in a pretty poor state, cracked, pealing paint etc, some joiners have fallen off. Should I be concerned? Thanks a lot

  186. Valerio Says:

    Hi Jeff
    My brother in-law has dug up some pipe’s in the back yard stamped on it is FIBROLITE DRAIN PIPE G CLASS 2400 (in green), can you tell me if it contains asbestos ?

  187. Jeff Says:

    Hi Valerio, yes that’s asbestos. Made by Hardies and probably contains brown asbestos. Please send me a pic if you have time and send to jeff@asbestosremovalguide. Jeff.

  188. Tricia Says:

    Hi jeff!

    Thanks for the great website. I am renovating a bathroom in our 1982 built home the tub surround was original to the house and I didn’t know if these contained asbestos materials. If you could let me know if they were using it Tunis purpose at the time I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Tricia

  189. Shorn Says:

    Hi Jeff, Our builder just took down a wall he said was not asbestos, there is no writing on the back, and the front has a racked affect and was very heavey is this asbestos product, the rest of the walls are burnie board including the bathroom. It is a 60′s house.

  190. B Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for providing a site like this.

    I have moved into a 1930s cottage in Canberra. The facia on the eaves is rotting on the corners but the eaves themselves look ok although a little weathered where the facia is rotting. On that basis I’m assuming the eaves are asbestos. Some paint is also flaking away from the eaves in a couple of places and some holes have been drilled in what appears to be an attempt at letting water out of the eaves. I’m replacing the gutters and facia with colourbond and my question is should I also get the eaves replaced at the same time, or is it an option to just repaint the eaves once the gutters and facia are up?

    There is also some textured/bumpy paint in the stand alone toilet on the walls and ceiling and in the roof of then kitchen. This paint or coating is relatively soft. Could this also contain asbestos?

    Thanks
    B

  191. Jeff Says:

    Hi B, I agree with your suspicions, the eaves probably are asbestos considering the age of the house. The best option would be to replace the eaves with modern HardiFlex and then repaint, unfortunately this is probably also the most expensive option. But…Check-out how much needs to be replaced and painted, it might be not be as expenive as you think and has the advantage of ridding your property some of the asbestos (a bonus at sale time if you ever decide to sell).

    The alternative, is repainting the existing asbestos. Don’t water blast it whatever you do as this will release asbestos fibres! Also don’t scrape any loose paint with a paint scraper or wire brush as this also may release asbestos fibres. What you can do is wipe it with a damp cloth, to remove any mould or dirt…and then, use a sealer/binder to paint over the flakey area. After that, you can procede to paint.

    Some of the textured paints prior to 1980 did contain asbestos! But as you say it’s relatively soft, I’d have a guess it’s a modern water based acrylic textured paint applied with-in the last 10-15years. If you can find out when it was painted, then that would be helpful. If you have any doubts, take a sample to be lab tested to be sure.

    Jeff.

  192. Jeff Says:

    Hi Shorn, I can understand your concern…and not every trademan is an asbestos identification expert either. Certainly being a 1960′s home it is well within the asbestos ‘timezone’,and makes me suspicious as well. Your welcome to send me photos (of sample of the material) and I can take a look for you: jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

  193. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tricia, Assuming the tub surround is some fibre cement product (not brick or concrete) I’d be on alert for asbestos here, as this in the cross over period (to cellulose based fibre cement products). I’d put a bet on that it is asbestos..so use caution. You may need to get someone to confirm the composition of it before you procede with your renovation… or send a sample off to the lab.

    Jeff.

  194. Jeff Says:

    Hi Linda..(from 15 Feb), Sorry for late reply. You’re right, it’s probably not worth spending a great deal of money renovating a place like this as that same money could be put towards building / buying a new house. However, it’s good keep it well maintained, as it just makes life a lot more pleasant when living in an older asbestos house.

    Though I’m not a big fan of tiling over asbestos (as this leaves an unrevealed danger for future renovators), it might be the way to go in your situation. Leave a warning note if you ever sell.

    Alternatively,depending on how much Tilux needs to be removed, as this might be worth considering, removing it yourself, and ridding your kitchen of it for good. If you take the precautions and feeling confident, (dust mask, disposable overalls, tools, PVA water solution and black plastic and tape) you can DIY. You could also consider hiring a HEPA vaccum cleaner to be clean up any dust in between the wall (left over from constuction possibly). A small sheet of tilux is in the realm of DIY asbestos removal. Once this is done, you can plan the taps, sink and cupboards a little better without being compromised…Though watchout the project doesn’t become too large now! Ultimately I think this is the best way, but I can understand for not wanting go this route also.

    About removing the cupboard,sink & taps: When you remove the sink, taps & cupboard, provided you don’t crack any of the Tilux, the risk is relatively low. Mop up any of the general dust from behind the cupboard & sink with a damp cloth to be sure. Any peeling paint over tilux or asbestos, seal with PVA glue & water solution, as with any bare unpainted asbestos that is exposed. Though this is low risk, it’s good to be sure.

    Any unsealed edges of the tilux you should be sealed with paint or PVA glue water solution also to be sure it doesn’t release fibres during renovation.

    You can seal the cracks in the tilux with a water based flexable gap filler such as ‘No more gaps’ etc if you choose to go that way.

    Replacing rotted window frames: Wood should carefully removed making sure to not to crack the asbestos sheeting. If sheeting is cracked, seal it immediately with a sealer-binder. Edges of the asbestos sheeting should also be sealed with sealer-binder prior to installation of new window frames. Have dust mask ready if things go amiss.

    Finally, many houses across Australia are similar to yours (mine included).. They are not so much of a death trap if treated carefully…and a house is home, which is good. However we should think about the men who worked in the asbestos mines, the workers in the asbestos factories, and the builders who constructed our asbestos houses many years ago..many who in time, paid the ultimate price.

    Jeff.

  195. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ingrid (from Feb 26): The risk is relatively low by merely staying in your property. Provided you don’t distub any of the asbestos, it should be ok. You can seal any of the edges of the fibro with PVA glue to be sure.

    Jeff.

  196. B Says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks for your reply. great advice.

    If I was to get the eaves replaced by a licensed asbestos removalist with a good rep is there still a high danger of fibers being released when the old eaves are removed? if it is fairly low risk I’d prefer to have them out but if there will be fibers everywhere I’m thinking repaint. Cost isn’t my main concern more the safest option.

    Cheers
    B

  197. Jeff Says:

    Hi B, The services of professional asbestos removalist should ensure there is a minimal release of asbestos fibres into surroundings and virtually nil remaining asbestos.
    For example, a good removalist will:

    * Prepare first by laying down a plastic drop sheet under the job to catch any pieces.
    * They will cordon off the whole area whilst the job is in progress.
    * They will use safety equipment (dust masks, disposable overalls, gloves, boots, hard hats)
    * They will have a encapsulant on hand in case of breakage (like a PVA glue-water mix)
    * They will keep breakage to an absolute minimum.
    * They will wrap up the removed asbestos sheeting in plastic and seal it with duct tape.
    * They will mark any asbestos waste as hazardous.
    * They will do proper clean up with HEPA vacuum cleaner (if needed).
    * They will dispose of the drop sheet, disposable overalls, dust masks along with the asbestos waste.
    * They make make sure asbestos waste is transported and taken to an approved disposal site for asbestos.

    This is just a quick guide, no doubt there are other aspects to a good asbestos removalist such as insurance also.

    Also, you may need to consider that a good removalist only does asbestos removals, to have the sheets replaced with Hardiflex, you then need to get your regular tradesmen / builder in, to finish the job.

    Jeff.

  198. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi B,
    just wanted to share some additional info with you on some cost savings for when you re-sheet following removal of the asbestos, it sounds like your in a similar scenario as my property with asbestos eaves 1979 build brick veneer. Most handymen will also do the re-sheeting for you, in your case, re-fitting Hardiflex eaves boarding or some other non asbestos material. I contacted one recently and he told me that for about $500-$600, he will install the new eaves boarding and the guttering and the fascia board (I’m going to be replacing the guttering and will install fascia as at present, the guttering is one of those special types that sits on the end of the eaves). I’m also going to have professional asbestos removalists remove my bathroom walls as they are asbestos, and 2 asbestos gables on the concrete tiled roof. The same handyman can install all of those replacements, that is, re-sheet the bathroom with ordinary plaster and installation of non asbestos gables replacement. As Jeff was saying, you should manage your own project like I will be and source professionals for asbestos removal that only do asbestos removals. Don’t go for the cheapest of the cheapest. Do your research. Does the company have a website, are they involved with any other government or commercial work, etc etc. Let them come to your place and quote you and when they quote you, you can ask what kind of processes they follow and you can scrutinise it with the criteria that Jeff has mentioned above.

  199. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi B,
    also something I forgot to add, handymen will not be involved in the supply of any of the replacement materials generally, so like me, if you elect to have them install it, you will need to source and have the material supplied. With the high Aussie dollar (hoping it stays this way so Aussies get the good value we deserve for our money when we travel overseas, I know many of you will disagree), it shouldn’t be too expensive. Get the measure of existing eaves boarding, the asbestos ones, as they come out, and you know what size of replacement to search for when you go shopping. Not to bag products here, but to tell you the truth, in 2007 I installed a leaf gutter screen system for the guttering here. Colyton NSW having a lot of clay soil, I found during extremely heavy rain that the leaf gutter screen was actually greatly sending a lot of water over the edge (not into the gutters) and water pooling on the ground. I ended up removing the leaf gutter system in 2010 as it’s simply not workable in heavy rain, too much water simply pools right over and straight onto the ground!

  200. Sara Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for such a great website.

    I have just moved into a NSW Department of Housing house and am concerned in may contain asbestos. The house was build in 1963 so it’s well within the Asbestos era. The bathroom has the wooden batterns on the walls, however it appears to have been renovated, do the batterns guarantee it’s asbestos? Also under the eaves I have discovered a crack in the sheeting, should I be concerned? The house is brick but has some cladding near the front door.

    Thanks so much

    Thanks

  201. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sara, You’re correct, the house is certainly in the asbestos timezone period and should you immediately suspect any fibre cement as containing asbestos.

    Sounds like you might have brick veneer house, that is, bricks on the ouside & wooden frame on the inside. The battens sure do sound like the typical Tilux(or other asbestos sheeting)-batten-plasterboard combination that was a popular contruction method for bathrooms back then. There’s no guarantee that your particular bathroom has asbestos containing sheets as it may have been retro fitted in the 90′s with asbestos free sheeting…but if you’re sure the bathroom walls are fibre cement, then I’d designate them as possible asbestos containing sheets.

    The bathroom should be quite safe as it is and doesn’t pose a health risk. If you were contemplating renovating it, then you’ll need to take steps to positively identify the material and then take appropriate action.

    The small crack in the eaves should not posed any risk and would quite easy to seal with some sealer/binder or paint to be sure.

    Jeff.

  202. Sara Says:

    Thanks so much Jeff,

    So should I also suspect al internal walls are asbestos? Such as in the lounge room etc it appears to look like plasterboard and has no batterns in the plasterboard in the other areas of the house

  203. Jeff Says:

    Other likely places you might find asbestos fibro is in the laundry, the toilet and parts of the kitchen. It’s likely the lounge room is plasterboard as you suspect, plasterboard did tend to give a better finish for walls and ceilings than fibro, so consquently plasterboard was used in loungerooms, bedroom and dining rooms. Jeff.

  204. Trudi Says:

    Does ‘Bevelux’ sheeting contain asbestos? Stamped on back of sheeting lining bathroom and possibly most of the house … I think it is a’kit home’ of some kind … Feel frame and ‘fibro’ sheeting can send photo if required

  205. Trudi Says:

    I am demolishing an old bathroom to extend the kitchen and dining room … So most of the walls need to go … They are part of a steel frame ‘kit home’? I was hoping to have the job done by my builder… But do not want to put anybody at risk.. My previous renovations the builder has been very blasé and just knocked walls down etc in retrospect I am thinking these walls would also have been bevelux/ containing asbestos? And they probably exposed themselves and me!! I have read your info … Very helpful and think that probably builder could remove taking all this precautions… How can I ensure whilst removing sheeting the ‘dust’ doesn’t travel to the rest of the house ?
    I am also recalling as child of the 60′s the renovations my father did and how I ‘helped’ and played with the big ‘fibro cutters’ unknowingly my father put me and himself at risk… I guess we of that era are all possible mesothelioma patients? The recent death of Lincoln Hall has raised awareness again …. He helped build a cubby with his faster as child …And survived his near’death on Everest only to lose his life to mesothelioma ….at only 56…. So tragic.

  206. Trish Says:

    Please people do not take any risks at all with material which may contain asbestos. My father who is now 87 and up until recently was a very fit healthy person has now been diagonised with asbestosis and lung cancer caused by asbestos. He worked back in the late sixties and early seventies on Qld housing commission houses painting them which were all fibro constructed. This horrible disease can take up to 40-50 years before it shows itself. He is taking legal action for compensation, although it will not save his life, we all believe James Hardie should be held accountable for what they knowningly did.

  207. David Says:

    HI Jeff,

    I removed some cement sheets from the exterior of our 3rd bedroom when renovating. I went ahead because the first sheet had a clear Aust Standards code and a 2006 date code, but once removed it seemd to have a mixture of sheets. Most of them have no markings except the numbers 22 39 83 printed in what resembles the old dot matrix printer style. Is it possible that the ’83′ stands for 1983 or are they just random numbers?
    The house is a 1880′s cottage which has had fibro extensions in the 70′s and 80′s and this room seems to have been the last one added.
    Thanks David

  208. Elaine Says:

    I have just bought a house which the building inspector says has ‘potentially asbestos cement sheet lining’ in the laundry and toilet. It has been newly painted so my understanding is that if we leave it alone it will be ok. If we wanted to cover this up with new sheeting would it be safe to dampen the walls, put the new sheeting up against the old sheet and then drill through both?
    Thank you

  209. Jeff Says:

    Hi Trudi,

    Yes Bevelux does contain asbestos. Treat it with caution just as you’d do with any other asbestos containing fibro.

    With your previous bad experience with a builder, you might consider calling in specialist asbestos removalist to take care of the bevelux (and any other asbestos fibro). Though this might cost a little extra, you can be sure at least the job has been done properly. A good removalist will seal off the work area (that is an air tight seal so no fibres can travel through to the rest of the house). Final clean up, after the asbestos has been removed, will be done with a HEPA vacuum cleaner.

    It’s quite a common story…parents doing renovation and exposing themselves and children to asbestos dust. I recall my father doing something similar during the 1970′s, cutting fibro sheeting with cutters and angle grinders. And yes experts are predicting a new wave of mesothelioma sufferers due to this. With this in mind, we must be vigilant to every last piece of asbestos is safely dipsosed of (at least in Australia).

    Jeff.

  210. Jeff Says:

    Hi Trish, thanks for the comment. Best of luck with any compensation claims for your dad. I guess QLD housing commission (or it’s modern equivalent) could also be partly to blame on this one as well. Make contact with your local asbestos compensation lawyers and solicitors on this one.

    Jeff.

  211. Jeff Says:

    Hi David, this is one of the most frustrating aspects of identifying flat asbestos fibro sheeting from the celluose based products. Often the numbers are production and batch numbers which resemble prodction dates and times. The print type does indicate it’s a modern production, probably something from the 1980′s onwards…but there there still is a chance it contains asbestos from the cross over period in the early 1980′s. That is when asbestos was phased out and replaced with the celluose fibre based products. I’d recommend exercising caution on this one, and perhaps sending off a sample to lab tested..or.. treat the sheeting as containing asbestos just to be sure. If you’re DIYing this and it’s a small job, it might not be too hard to remove this safely, taking the required precautions anyway.

    Jeff.

  212. Jeff Says:

    Hi Elaine, I always have a preference to removing asbestos where possible rather than covering it over (which can be a danger to future renovators or builders)then replace with Hardiflex. This way is more expensive but is safer in the long run.
    However, it’s possible you can simply glue new sheets of Hardiflex over the old fibro using ‘Liquid Nails’ (or similar) without drilling any holes (thus eliminating the possibity of creating dust). This might work well if the sheets are not to big and are lower down where they can be held in place till the glue dries.

    I’d recommend not drilling holes for this situation.

    Jeff.

  213. Elaine Says:

    Thank you Jeff for your comments and for the great service you provide.

  214. Meg Says:

    Hello,
    Our home was built in 1985 – 1986 we are renovating our bathroom. Around the bath, under the tiles there is some cement sheeting with a green stamp on it with the letters A B. Would this be asbestos?
    The walls in the bathroom are not the same material, but they also have some faint green print on it, but I cannot make out what it says.

  215. lozo Says:

    I have a house built in 1991 and there’s a sheet in the laundry that was cut about 8 years ago to put in central heating, and the sheet has on it (I can’t see it all) ES-VILLA and what appears to be an E, but it’s against the board, and can’t see the rest of it. Does anyone know if this has asbestos in it?

  216. Desiree Says:

    Hi there

    We’re looking at a property to renovate where we are extending out from what looks to be fibolite in a fat weatherboard style. House is from the 70s. It is in very good condition but if and when we were to reclad, can you reclad over the top, or do you need to remove the whole thing and then wrap the place in plastic while you do it? Presumably joining our extensions to the fibrolite wall with a product that looks similar shouldn’t present too many problems?

  217. nadia Says:

    There is a PDF of the Hardie’s asbestos products and extra info at asbestosindustry.asn.au

  218. Elizabeth Says:

    Hello,
    We own a 1930s double brick home with a 1950s upper extension, made from what one builder identified as most likely being ‘hardiplank’. We had been reconsidering repainting the house, and most of the upper floor windows need replacing. This is a New england style home with very steep roof. I am firstly concerned that this plank material might contain aspestos, and am not sure how to approach cleaning and painting it. Secondly, the windows and some fascia boards have fungal rot and must be replaced. What is the danger of removing the windows and refitting them, and perhaps releasing aspestos fibres? One builder suggested simply placing colourbond over the fascias, and recladding the top with vinyl cladding – but the latter would look cheap. The cladding is cut into wide sheets – not thin – like currently available materials. I thought repainting would look nicer.

  219. Jeff Says:

    Hi Meg,

    Although, asbestos was generally being phased out of fibre cement sheet in this time, it’s possible your bathroom sheeting could contain asbestos. Also in this period, sheeting like this tended to have stickers attached to the back side indicating whether or not it contained asbestos to make it clear. The A B print I’m still not sure.. this could be any either a grading mark, or other production code.

    Also take into account, the sheeting may have been ‘New Old Stock’ that is..unused stock that was stored for several years before being used, the old stock being asbestos variety. So I’d recommend taking caution with the sheeting in your bathroom at this stage.

    Jeff.

  220. Jeff Says:

    Hi Lozo, I suspect it might be Hardies Villaboard what you have there. The house being constructed in 1991 would be unlikely to contain asbestos.

    Jeff.

  221. Jeff Says:

    Hi Desiree,

    You can clad over the asbestos, though I’m an advocate of removing the darn stuff for good, that way any future renovators won’t need to deal with it and potentially be exposed.

    But is up to you to clad over the existing asbestos, removing the the asbestos and disposal will be more expensive unfortunately and yes if you do it yourself, you’ll need all the safety equipment and black plastic to wrap it up.

    If you decide to keep the existing asbestos, be careful where the extension meets the old asbestos not create a dust by drilling or cutting the asbestos sheeting.

    Jeff.

  222. Jeff Says:

    Hi Nadia, thanks for the links. Some great stuff there.

  223. Jeff Says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Your concerned is right, being an older style house and the knowing the condition of the window frames is poor I’d say this house is quite old and it’s highly likely the HardiPlank contains asbestos.

    Sounds like quite job here. I tend to think in this situation repainting the HardiPlank might be the way to go and replacing the wooden windows with either new wood or modern aluminium windows rather than do a reclad. A good builder should be able to replace the windows without disturbing the HardiPlank too much thus keeping the risk of releasing asbestos fibres to a absolute minimum.

    With painting preparation, avoid using a high pressure water cleaner, wire brushing or anything that will disturb the underlying asbestos in the HardiPlank. Ideally, if you can simply paint over the existing paint with a sealer / binder that would be the best way.. then paint over that. Hopefully also, the existing paint is not too flakey and peeling to do this.

    Jeff.

  224. Damian Says:

    Hi,

    I am renovating a home that was built in the 60′s or 70′s. To date we haven’t come across any asbestos other than possibly the floor tiles in the kitchen. However, I’m wanting to clarify whether asbestos was used to in any roof insulation. The insulation in our ceiling is a yellow color and clumps together. I think it’s if rock wool or fibre glass. It certainly has a friable glass look about it. I took a sample and put a match to it – it went black and the fibre seemed to shrivel up, however, it didn’t really catch alight. Any information would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

  225. Rose Marie Delaney Says:

    Our house was built in 1983 according to council records.

    It has Beechwood home written on the back of the bricks in the garage, but is constructed of brick and tile with boarding under eaves (soffit?). The problem is that our roof is leaking causing the boarding to sag, the nails are falling out and it is falling down with the edges exposed in the corners.

    Could this board contain asbestos ? From what I have seen above, we are concerned. Does the non asbestos board make a dust if broken ? We had a tree damage an outside light and screwing it back caused fine, white dust to escape from the screw hole.

  226. Johnny Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My house was built by Masterton in April 1990. Recently, my wife slipped whilst having a shower and her head bumped into one tile.
    I had to remove the tile which is glued to a sheeting. I tried to
    remove/clean that part of the sheet glued to the tile so I can reinstall the tile but in the process some powdery like substance
    came out, some layered and hard but easy to remove from the tile
    using a sharp object.
    Do you think the sheet contains asbestos ?

    Highly appreciate your advise as I am a worried I may have inhaled the powder and have contaminated the bathroom, clothes, etc in our house (if this is asbestos).

  227. Jeff Says:

    Hi Johnny,

    Being built in 1990 I’d expect this material not to be containing asbestos. I’ll have a guess the tile is glued to a compressed sheeting, something like Hardies Villaboard (or the 1990′s equivalant and looks a bit like Hardiflex) or even possibly CSR Aquachek (sort of like a wet area Gyprock which could explain the powder).

    In any case, I’d suggest you don’t have worry about there being asbestos. If you want to be absolutely sure, take a sample off to the nearest Lab to be tested.

    Jeff.

  228. Jenny Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Our sunroom (built in the 70s) had a leak in the roof last week. The insurance assessor believed the damaged sheeting (ceiling) wasn’t asbestos sheeting because the sheets had a bevelled edge and the type of nails used weren’t typically those used for asbestos sheeting (smaller head) Is this a naive deduction? We have asked for a test to be done before restorative work begins.

    Thanks

  229. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rose Marie,

    From your description, it sounds likes a fibre cement of some sort (as opposed to a wood based product). Both asbestos and celluose based fibre cement sheets will produce a white dust when drilled. Assuming its the original sheeting from 1983 I’d recommend caution be taken with this sheeting until it’s positively identified. 1983 is in the crossover period between asbestos and cellulose based sheeting…so it might be either. Your next step would be to identify the material by either taking a sample to an asbestos lab or calling in a asbestos expert or removalist to positively identify it, then take it from there.

    Jeff.

  230. Jeff Says:

    Hi Damian,

    The yellow colour and your description sounds like typical glass fibre insulation. Very common to see this in the roof spaces of many houses around Australia. No serious health concerns with glass fibre insulation.

    Jeff.

  231. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Regardless of what the assessor tells you, I’d immediately be cautious of the material if you say it was built in the 1970′s. Considering cellulose based fibre sheeting didn’t become available until the early to mid 1980′s, any fibre cement sheeting from the 1970′s is asbestos based.

    Always err on the side of caution until the material has been positively identified, then you can proceed with any repairs or renovation. A wise decision of yours to take a sample to your nearest asbestos lab for analysis. Better safe than sorry as the saying goes.

    Jeff.

  232. Alisha Says:

    Hi,

    House was renovated in 1986, mostly brick and apparently gyprock. There are some wall cracks in some of the rooms and it looks like cardboard with white plaster behind it (I’m assuming this is gyprock). But in other areas (certain corners of walls) the paint is peeling and reveals a grey edge underneath which is very hard, is that also gyprock or some other material?

  233. Rose Marie Says:

    Thanks Jeff.

    We will take your advice.

    Thank you for the site too.

    Rose Marie.

  234. Seb Says:

    Hi Jeff.
    I am just curious as to how dangerous asbestos flues are.
    I know some school portables have these and you mentioned the blue asbestos not being phased out of pipes. Does that include flues?

  235. lozo Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for your reply, I think I might paint over the sheet just in case,
    P/S sorry about the late reply.
    You are a champ mate

  236. Jeff Says:

    Hi Alisha,

    Sounds like there is a mixture of Gyprpock and fibre cement for the walls. Though you say the house was renovated in 1986, be on the look-out for parts of the original house construction, which might contain asbestos fibro… the hard grey material you describe could well be asbestos fibro left over(but it could also be new cellulose based Hardiflex also). I’d recommend you take caution if you plan do any renovation near this. If left alone, it’s quite safe, however if you want to make sure. paint any exposed parts with either a sealer-binder or PVA wood glue.

    Jeff.

  237. Jeff Says:

    Hi Seb,

    I know the asbestos flues well, my house has one!

    The main issues I see with asbestos flues are:

    1. Cracking of the asbestos pipe – from the constant heating and cooling process. This is a major pain, as the whole flue will probably need to be replaced if it cracks (or replace the whole heater). Probably the flue can be replaced with a stainless steel flue… if your really keen. The usual asbestos safety procedures apply when removing the old asbestos flue.

    2. If you think asbestos flues are bad, be on the look-out for coiled asbestos rope or other types of asbestos insulation that may be wrapped around the exhaust pipe that leads from the back of the heater, through the wall to the outside. This is friable asbestos and is extremely dangerous. Just don’t touch it. Friable asbestos may also be present in the heater itself, so take caution if moving or disposing of this unit.

    There is a good chance all flues contain either blue or brown asbestos. Blue and and brown asbestos had the right characteristics (long fibre length and strength) for flues and pipe manufacture. Therefore they should be treated with extra caution.

    Jeff.

  238. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Just further to Rose Marie’s posting of the 21st of April, my property was built in 1979 just 4 years before yours and I’ve confirmed that the entire eaves boarding is asbestos for my place. Only a single board (out of the whole eaves) contains a red sticker which reads “Caution – Asbestos” which I located in 2007 when I had changed some roof tiles at the edge. I got the chance to ask one builder about this who states he’s been in the industry for the past 40 years, and he states that it was standard practice, in those days, to only put one warning sticker on one eaves board (not every), no particular standard or practice on what location of property, the sticker on mine is on the Eastern side front. Just with regard to your comment that your eaves boarding sagged following leaks from the tiles above, mine have never sagged though I’m quite sure that the leak has been there for several years (tiles at edge which i replaced in 2007). The worst that has happened to my eaves board is that the paint has bubbled a little in this location – see how strong the material is no wonder they used it for so long?! Though as Jeff said, be cautious and it is better to assume that yours is asbestos as it’s not right to assume it’s not asbestos because it sags, etc. You can have it tested by a lab or if in NSW, you can apply through your local council to obtain a copy of the building certificate from your property when it had been constructed – the materials used will be listed here including the eaves boarding.

  239. Chris M Says:

    Hi Jeff, I have 2 photos of some i am pulling down at my place (1981). The old laundry, and was lined around a timber lintel above the window and door. It looks like a layered cellulose type but the edges and fibres (some clumped). The back though is Hardiplank (going by your photos above). Can i send these 2 photos to you to have a look? Many thanks, Chris.

  240. Rose Marie Says:

    I thought I might update the info on the eaves of my house. I went to the council (I am in NSW) and they were very helpful in assisting me to fill out the request to view the building certificate. So far it is a free service. I am waiting to hear back (it could take 3 weeks) but it is on microfish? so they warned me it may be difficult to read. But what a great service and I didn’t know about it before reading this site.

    We were able to access under the tiles in the North West garage area, but there was no sticker visable nor any markings from the manufacturer on the back of the boards. We can’t access all the eaves so we can’t go any further until we meet with council.

    In the meantime, (14) pine trees at the back of our property were removed. Guess what was hiding behind the corner tree – a large piece of asbestos fibro. We didn’t know it was there and we have lived here for 7 years. We feel that we are drowning in this stuff. Anyway, we notified our neighbour whose bedroom window is only 2 feet away from the board. He was mortified. There is also quite a lot of other half buried garbage in the corner. So where to from here ? We contacted council, who can’t help us on this matter but did advise us where to take the fibro for tipping. Our concern is that there might be more asbestos buried under the rubbish.

    Rose

  241. Jeff Says:

    Hi Chris, send them through to jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com and I’ll take a look at them.

    Jeff.

  242. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rose, thanks for update. Good to hear your local council is of assistance,

    Many thanks to reader, Jason, who pointed out that original building plans can be accessed through the local councils in NSW.

    The left over sheet of fibro (and buried fibro) is quite a common story unfortunately. So much of this stuff is still around like this. I found similar flat broken fibro pieces recently while digging my sewerage pipes.

    Technically speaking, whilst it’s buried like this, it doesn’t pose a danger. The problem comes when the soil is disturbed due to some activity such as building, fencing, landscaping, plumbing or gardening for example.

    I wouldn’t recommend digging around searching for it unless there is some urgent reason to do so.

    The large sheet can be wrapped up in black plastic ready for disposal. Wet it down first and wear use a P2 respirator with disposable filter, then wrap it up and seal it with duct tape. While you have your respirator on, have search for any broken fragents visible on the surface and put them in strong plastic bag and seal it also. Ready for disposal.

    Keep an eye on that area of your yard in the future, if any more fragments become exposed, pick them up and bag them immediately.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff.

  243. Seb Says:

    Hi Jeff.
    Thanks for all you responses.
    A final question:
    Is asbestos common in concrete?
    We have a square slab over a sewer pit, and while it appears to be regular concrete it got me wondering, so I thought I’d ask ya.
    Thanks.

  244. Sarah Says:

    We just had a new DVS (ventilation system) professionally installed in our 1960s house. Large ceiling vents in each of the children’s bedrooms – which involved cutting the ceiling. We’d had our outside eaves tested for fibrolite (positive), but I never worried about the ceiling as it is plain- not textured/glittery.

    Today, after removing a large disused vent in our living room ceiling the plasterer casually mentioned that we had a “really good ceiling – it’s fibre”. Surely this means fibrolite, which if installed in 1962 would probably contain asbestos? He didn’t think so & just used a drop sheet… and I stupidly (up until that point) had my baby only metres away.

    With the baby & two littlies in the house I’m now worried about the minor work we’ve had done in the last year that involved drilling or cutting into the ceiling (installing several new light fittings, DVS vents,removing the large old vent…).

    The pre-purchase building report we got on the house didn’t mention fibrolite ceilings – just eaves. How is the average family to know? Not one of the electricians or home ventilation system people we’ve had in mentioned asbestos or took any precautions.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think there should be a better system out there for informing homeowners. Are building inspectors and tradespeople required to have compulsory asbestos training – and if not, shouldn’t they?

  245. Seb Says:

    No, it’s not just you, Sarah. Many tradies seem to be the most dangerous aspect of asbestos existence as they’re either ignorant to the facts or they don’t care.
    VERY frustrating.
    I sympathise.

  246. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    the only way or system, as you stated in your posting, to better inform homebuyers, intending homeowners, etc, is if the government passes legislation announcing that asbestos has to be disclosed explicitly in any advertisement for a property to be sold, in any pest/building report, and to provide for penalties if deliberately ommitted. Laws to also require that this has to happen regardless of possible renovations over the years previously which may have seen asbestos replaced with non asbestos. Though to be honest Sarah, I don’t ever see that happening as real estate agents would be up in arms, vendors trying to sell would be up in arms, the government would fear that it would lead to widespread panic, etc, and I suspect it’s a risk they’d rather not take.
    As Seb stated, this ignorance factor of tradespersons summs it up, it’s that “you’ll be right” attitude that every tradie seems to have ingrained unto himself or herself in relation to asbestos and taking no precautions. The only way we can hope to change this culture or attitude will be with the government commencing on a mass media asbestos awareness campaign. Sadly, I don’t feel they will ever do this as they fear it will cause too much panic in the community.

  247. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Sarah,
    just to exemplify this a little more, the reality shows on television where couples renovate older houses, houses constructed in asbestos’s heyday, name me one instance where you’ve either seen asbestos warnings given by the TV show to intending audiences as a precaution if people wish to renovate themselves, or, any one instance where the cameras showed the couple wearing any masks whatsoever, even those simple 50 cents Chinese shop masks, for any sort of protection. Doesn’t happen. Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good programme! Trouble is, the average Joe Blow is going to try the things he sees on this TV programme in that little old granny flat he has at the back of his house which happens to be full of asbestos and he won’t wear any masks, after all, why should he when he saw a television programme with a pretty similar structure being worked on an absolutely no warnings on asbestos and no masks – evidently, you’ll be right, mate!

  248. Linda Says:

    i have recently bought a property and had no idea it was full of aspestos. Is it safeto live in the house for an extended period

  249. David Says:

    You need to check the dates you quote for the asbestos cement change overs you have listed. I worked at Hardies in R&D between 1979 and 2001, and was involved in work associated with the change over. A number of products were not made after 1982 because they could not be changed over or were deleted from the line up. For example, compressed sheet was not really available for a period from 1982 into 83 because of problems and the profiled sheets were not sold for a while.
    Tilux stopped being made circa 1978-79 and was not replaced.
    A few things to note:
    Jeff said ‘When the switch was made to eliminate asbestos from all Hardies products, some product names were abandoned(like Shadowline) others renamed (like Super Six to Hardifence)’
    This is not actaully correct. Hardifence was actually separate to Super Six and visa versa. Hardifence had a different profile, however Super Six was used as fensing as more commonly. So there is AC Super Six used as fencing, and also Hardifence in AC and later asbestos free versions.
    Questions about batch codings
    Paul asked, Is Hardies Villaboard P432/92G V2. does it contain asbestos?
    The answer is no. Two things to consider. AC products from the mid seventies had the asbestos warning sticker on the back, which usually stayed there. The other point is that the asbestos free products were originally called SX then Series II. Hence asbestos free Hardiflex became Hardiflex II and is batch coding H2, Villaboard II – V2, Compressed Sheet II – C2, Versilux II – VL2, so when you see this on the back of a sheet this indicates it is an absestos free product.
    From several respondents
    Are these AC sheets?
    HARDIE’S VERSILUX ? W4 V2 & 217 11:15
    HARDIE’S VERSILUX II W4 V2 & 217 11:15
    No they are not. W4 means they were made on No 4 machine at Welshpool WA and V2 means Villaboard II (non AC).
    HARDIFLEX SHEET 06.10.03 01.05 20311986 – The manufacture date is 2003, and 2 indicates NSW which probably would be number 6 MC at Rosehill day 311.
    Hardiflex B1 1 269 95H2 and 3K071 Hardiflex W42D62965 – The first one is Hardiflex II made in 1995, the second is from WA is I am fully familiar with, the 2 after the 4 suggests series II

  250. Matt Says:

    G’day mate. Just a quick one. Had a ‘professional’ in to look at my 1974 built beach bungalow. As expected the outside and bathroom/laundry ate covered with asbestos sheet. What shocked me is that he said that ALL the internal linings were also asbestos. I had taken it for granted to be plain old plaster board. Is he pulling my chain?

  251. Norm Says:

    Can you please tell me if Harfiflex 4 2 2 2 1 has asbestos?

    Norm

  252. Seb Says:

    Wherefore art thou Jeff?

  253. Norm Says:

    Oops, the typist made a mistake.
    Is asbestos in Hardiflex 4 2 5 5 1 as this is on the back of the sheet?

    Norm

  254. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Linda,
    at least you know – the mere fact that you know what it is and have come here to read about it and no doubt researched it is sometimes a life saver. If the asbestos cement sheeting is in good condition then it’s safe. I own a 1979 brick veneer and the bathroom and external eaves boarding are asbestos, has been quoted to me as $3700 for removal. Though I still haven’t done that as it appears in generally good condition.

  255. Jason Says:

    David,
    I know it may be a long shot, but do you know if there was any asbestos mixed in to Australian Gypsum plasterboard sheeting as supplied in the late 1970s? A number of other countries did mix asbestos with it and wondering if we did. It may have been manufactured by Boral or by Hardies? it’s green writing on the back of the sheet that simply states “Australian Gypsum”. i emailed CSR & Boral for a response, CSR responded and said not theirs, no response to date from Boral to my enquiry (emailed them more than 6 months ago). Do you know much about this “Australian Gypsum” plasterboard and any A/C content? I’m getting suspicious due to no response from Boral. Cheers, Jase.

  256. Jeff Says:

    Hi Matt, the professional’s assessment sounds pretty well correct. My ‘house’ for example, has laundry, parts of kitchen and bathroom lined with asbestos… it’s quite common to find internal walls of fibro asbestos in older buildings. Remember, fibro at the time was the material of choice for economical building. The beach bungalow would be a good candidate fibro construction throughout. Regards Jeff.

  257. Jeff Says:

    David, thankyou so much for the extremely valuable information regarding codes printed on Hardies fibro products, which no-one seems to know about. I’d really like to make a complete guide to these codes at some stage to assist readers. Regards Jeff

  258. Jeff Says:

    Hi Norm, hopefully David will decode this. Jeff

  259. Lee Says:

    Hi Jeff
    We have a 1977 brick home here in QLD and we have had an electrician come out when we first moved in and installed some ceiling fans. At the time we didnt even conwsider the ceilings could have been asbestos, but they could quite possibly be. What is the go with tradesmen etc, should they be able to identify it and say ‘No we cant install those without following extra precautions etc or would they just go ahead and do it anyway…..THankyou!!

  260. Amber Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I was glad to find such an informative site – thank you!

    A question for you please….our house was built 1930. The rest of the house has lovely ornate plasterboard ceilings but I have been told that the sunroom has an asbestos ceiling. It looks like fibro sheeting to me as there are timber joins in place on the ceiling (I suppose to cover the joins between each of the sheets). We had some water damage in this room recently so the ceiling and cornices got wet. I have been reluctant to touch it as didn’t want to disturb it. That said, it seems in tact and all that is left is a dirty water mark where the water penetrated.

    We want to fix this room up – not only to repair the water damage but to remove any potential threat from the asbestos (we have young kids). Is it safe for a plasterer to come in an install a new ceiling straight over the existing fibro ceiling? Obviously first prize would be to have it removed entirely but I am reluctant to have ANY asbestos fibers disturbed given our kids. Is it safe to just “seal in” the asbestos by installing a new ceiling? I met with a plasterer and he said that he would need to nail and glue new gyprock to the existing ceiling. I said I was concerned about him nailing into the fibro but he said he would remove the timber joins to reveal where the fibro sheets join and he would screw his nails in at this point. Is this safe?

    I would appreciate your advice on how this can be done properly and safely.

    many many thanks in advance

  261. Amber Says:

    Also….another question. The house has asbestos in the eaves. What sort of maintenance do we need to do to ensure that the asbestos is not disturbed? Just standard painting? What if the painter wants to “sand back” the existing paint? Is this safe? How should this be safely done? thanks again

  262. Jeff Says:

    Hi Lee, Tradesmen should have a some knowledge of identifying and dealing with asbestos. But like anything, some tradesmen are better than others either out of ignorance or they don’t care.

    There are effective and safe methods for drilling holes in asbestos, which is up to the tradee to make an assessment if it can be done safely.

    If a large amount of cutting and drilling needs to be done (such as installing an air con unit), then the tradee should make a judgement call to remove the whole asbestos sheet and replace it with Hardiflex.

    They should inform the owner of what needs to be done, as this will certainly make the job more expensive.

    Renovators could certainly sus out the job themselves, prior to calling out trademan by identifying any potential asbestos. Then go about finding a tradesman who is asbestos wise.

    Jeff.

  263. Jeff Says:

    Hi Amber, Gyprocking over the asbestos should be fine. As the plasterer has recommended, use screws in between the asbestos sheets to secure it along with glue and it should be fine. Ask the plasterer also to assess the condition of the existing timbers and how well the asbestos is nailed to the ceiling timbers, the last thing you want happening is the whole ceiling to come crashing down.

    With the eaves, provided the existing paint is not too flakey, you can paint straight over this. Any flakey paint can be done over with a sealer binder then painted.Try to avoid any scraping of the old paint where possible. Jeff.

  264. Amber Says:

    Jeff, thanks so much for your prompt reply. We live in Sydney….would you be able to recommend an experienced plasterer to do this type of job for me? I would value your recommendation to make sure someone experienced does this work for us given we have babies and I want our home to be safe for them. Can you possibly email me separately? I have obviously provided my email to put this post up…..thanks again!!!!

  265. Dawn Says:

    Hi Jeff
    What a great service you are providing! My house was built in 1982 and I purchased it in 1992. It is not clad with sheeting but with boards of some sort – supposed to look like weather boards I guess. Just yesterday I had a builder around to discuss adding a couple of rooms to the house. He commented that the cladding may contain asbestos (it was dark outside so he couldn’t check). I presume such ‘boards’ also contained asbestos at some stage but I really wonder if that’s the case here. I’ve already had 2 rooms added a few years ago which required removal of about 20sq mtrs of the old cladding boards. Neither the builder nor the local council expressed any concerns at the time. Do I assume eveything was OK? The previous extension and the new extension use different cladding and this time around I would like to have the old cladding on the rest of the house removed and replaced to match.
    I will try to follow this up myself but would value your opinion. Many thanks

  266. stuart Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    What is the best way to seal exposed asbestos sheeting that covers the outer wall of a bungalow? The sheets seem to be in good condition. Can normal paint be used? Is there an ideal product?
    Stuart

  267. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dawn,
    Sounds like your house is clad in HardiPlank manufactured by James Hardie. This product was manufactured in both asbestos and cellulose varieties and the product name was carried through from the asbestos versions to the non asbestos version. Hardiplank is still being made by Hardies. Cut off date for asbestos versions was 1981 (after that it was manufactured without asbestos). Being your house is built in 1982, I’d still exercise caution just in case old stocks of HardiPlank were being used up and your house was unlucky to get the asbestos version.

    You can take a sample to be lab tested to be sure of its composition… or simply assume it does contain asbestos to be on the safe side and take all the appropriate precautions when renovating. Replace with the new cellulose based product to match it up. Regards Jeff.

  268. Jeff Says:

    Hi Stuart

    Yes normal exterior paint should be ok. I’ve had good results with Solarguard (by Wattyl) no need for undercoat or primer and is water based. Easy to apply with roller or brush and certainly lives up to its claim of long lasting. With any luck you won’t have to do too much preparation on the wall. Best to avoid any scraping of old paint unless its really bad (use a P2 respirator, overalls gloves, and put down plastic drop sheet if you need to do this) Don’t water blast it either. Regards Jeff.

  269. marcelee Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    We live in a post ward house and have removed wallpaper from our toilet to reveal a green light avocado colour hard wall lining beneath. Would this be asbestos?
    regards
    M

  270. Esther Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great website. The pictures are especially helpful. We have a 1930s house with decorative plaster in the bathroom in a brick pattern. We are about to start renovating the bathroom and the builder thought the plaster might contain asbestos. Given it is original and we didn’t think the plaster in the other rooms contained asbestos I thought this unlikely. Just wondering if you had come across this before and your thoughts on it.

    Thanks in advance.

  271. Jeff Says:

    Hi Marcelee,

    Sounds like it could be Hardies Tilux (or Wunderlich equivilant) which was often used in bathrooms and toilets. Take all the usual asbestos removal precautions if you plan to remove it.

    Regards Jeff.

  272. Jeff Says:

    Hi Esther,

    As far as I know, asbestos was not added to plaster products (in Australia at least). Common reinforcements used in old plaster are horse hair, sisal and fibreglass. If there is any doubt, to satisfy yourself or the builder take a sample for lab analysis.

    Regards Jeff.

  273. Carmel Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Fantastic site and very much needed. I grew up in the North West and the long term threat of asbestos diseases are something of which my whole family are aware. My father worked in Wittenoom asbestos mine for a while and as children my parents used to take us to Wittenoom Gorge for picnics. I was wanting to know about fencing. I know the eaves of my house have asbestos sheets from a building inspection done at purchase 4 years ago. It was built in 1980. I have a fence that has a high probability of having asbestos sheets as well given the age of the neighbourhood but it also has some new sheets due to sewerage works done by the council a few years ago and fixes done over the years. I have to get it fixed due to damage done recently and was thinking of getting it replaced but didn’t want to risk it. I have noticed when it rains, some sheets stay ‘dry’ looking while others seem to soak in water. Is this an indicator of which sheets have asbestos and which are asbestos-free? The fence has no capping.

    Thanks for your help, Carmel

  274. Brian Byrne Says:

    Hi
    I have, what I think, is shadowline cladding on the walls of my house. The external surface has been painted but there is nothing on the inside surface, when I go under the house I can see the exposed panels. How dangerous is the unpainted surface? Is it going to break down over time?
    regards brian

  275. Jeff Says:

    Hi Carmel,

    Just out of curiosity, I’ve done a quick test of spraying water onto original asbestos Super Six sheeting and then onto modern cellulose based Hardifence (I have some mixed sheets together, perfect for this test).

    The results I’ve found were both turn equally a darker shade of grey when sprayed with water, sort of what I expected.

    However, I too have noticed various sheets around the neighbourhood that don’t turn the darker grey after a rain storm. It so happens these sheets have been treated with anti-graffiti paint which matches the original grey when the sheets are dry. Of course when it rains the sheets don’t darken. and they stand out from the untreated sheets.

    Your sheeting doesn’t have capping, so its either original asbestos Super Six, or early style cellulose based Hardifence. Any other identifying features, such as diamond shaped washer with nut and bolt and golf ball pattern on one side could suggest it’s asbestos variety.

    Jeff.

  276. Jeff Says:

    Hi Brian,

    You’re pretty safe with this one. Being painted on the outside, this has sealed in the asbestos fibres quite well and also prevents any potential weathering.
    The inside is not exposed to any weathering at all, so the cement-asbestos matrix will stay well intact. Asbestos cement is quite stable.

    Left as it is, this does not represent a health risk.

    However, if the walls are subject to any damage or renovation, then the usual asbestos precautions will need to be taken. Also, I would suggest there might be a small amounts of asbestos cement material contained within the walls from the original installation/contstruction such as drillings or loose chips from nailing the sheets on, but again, left alone these pose no risk until there is some disturbance.

    Jeff.

  277. Sarah Says:

    Hello Jeff,
    Thank you for the information so far, reading the other posts has certainly taught me a lot. We have recently purchased a 1955 house with asbestos in the kitchen and bathroom. The other rooms have wallpaper which has been painted over, so we can’t tell what’s underneath. The kitchen and bathroom have wooden battens, whereas the other rooms don’t and have many patches where the walls have been repaired over time. Is there a safe way to remove the wallpaper to determine the material underneath?
    Thank you in advance,
    Sarah.

  278. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sarah, Thanks for reading. The material could well be asbestos fibro, but it could also be plasterboard. A couple of tests you can try are:

    1. Driving in a small nail. If it’s plasterboard the nail will go in easily because plasterboard is soft. If its asbestos cement, the nail will be difficult to drive in.

    2. Drive in a the point of a compass. If it’s plasterboard the point will penetrate in quite easy. If it’s asbestos cement, the point won’t go in.

    3. Dig in with a screwdriver. If it’s plasterboard, you’ll see the white powdery plaster on the screwdriver tip. If its asbestos, you won’t be able dig into it.

    Jeff.

  279. Sarah Says:

    Thank you for that Jeff. Some of the walls are definitely asbestos. We need to remove the wallpaper (the weight of the paint is pulling it from the wall in places) and I wonder if a steamer is a safe way to take it off? We have to use a spiked roller to allow the steam access under the paper and I’m not sure if this will disturb the asbestos? Could you suggest a way we might remove the paper safely to prepare the wall for repainting?
    Thank you again in advance.

  280. Jason Says:

    Here’s another interesting case of deceit – imported building materials from China containing asbestos, even stating that they are 100% asbestos free, yet had been tested, and found to contain asbestos. Here’s the link (may have to copy and paste it into your internet browser in case the link from here isn’t clickable): http://www.cfmeuvic.com.au/downloads/ohs-alert/asbestoskills.pdf
    (I even told Jeff about a recent case where i purchased a few motor vehicle parts for the Mitsubishi Lancer from the USA given the strong aussie dollar and the brake pads i received from the USA, the packaging contained a warning on “fibrous dust”, nowhere mentioned was the “A” word, and yes surprise surprise, “Made in China” clearly labelled! After asking the director of the USA based company to please explain, he maintains it is not asbestos but didnt state what other materials it is.. Naturally i didnt handle the pads, i simply opened the pack (brand new) and they certainly didnt look semi-metallic, so they immediately made their way in to a vacuum sealed contained and were disposed of. The USA hasn’t yet banned it like many countries, so we can probably consider ourselves lucky that we have. Cheers all. Jase.

  281. Leo Freeman Says:

    Hi, Thanks for all the great info on this website. It’s depressing to think of all the Asbestos in the environment. I came across a glimmer of hope, though; have you heard of DMA – “Digestion Material for Asbestos”? It is supposed to chemically render blue asbestos fibres safe. But it might be a long time before we see it used.

  282. Jeff Says:

    More info here about DMA:

    http://rebar.ecn.purdue.edu/ect/links/technologies/other/asbestos.aspx

  283. Jason Says:

    Thanks for the link Jeff, it’s quite exciting how the new formula is capable of chemically destroying and in effect, dissolving asbestos fibres in to a harmless mineral. Let’s hope one day in the not too distant future that it’ll be capable of dissolving the deadly fibres in to a mineral that is safe for the human body – so essentially, the formula can be used on mesothelioma sufferers.

  284. Robert Says:

    Hi Jeff I have a home from the 1950′s and have a cracked tile in the kitchen it measures 12×12 inches I read somewhere that most asbestos tiles were 9×9 inches what do you think?
    Cheers

  285. Robert Says:

    Hi Jeff its Robert again I was wondering if I could send you a picture of the tile and you could tell me whether you have come across them.

    Cheers

  286. Jeff Says:

    Hi Robert, please send photos through to jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

  287. Kate Says:

    Hi Jeff I’m a single mum of a one year old and have some anxiety about my old rental home (not sure how old)..I know zero really about asbestos so sorry if my question seems silly! I understand asbestos was found in cement sheetings and hardie boards ect my rental home is actually stone.. My concerns are just when I had my Austar connections put in my house the Austar man drilled through the walls while my one year old was present..like I said I know nothing about asbestos as you can prob telll..an answer would b appreciated so i can stop worrying over it if I’m just being silly :) Thankyou very much

  288. Gigi Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I have a house built in 1992, which I know is past the time period for ACM, but there is one random piece of fibro used in the garage, do you happen to know for how long the ACM fibro stocks were around for after they stopped using them in 85? It has broken nails holes and seems more fragile than the confirmed AC fibro in our old place and looks like it could be peeled into layers.
    Thanks

  289. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kate, The dust from drilling of the stone wall would be similar to that of cutting / drilling concrete, general dust precautions should be taken such as wearing a dust mask, but certainly stone dust is not in the same hazard category as asbestos (though long term exposure to stone type dusts may result in Silicosis). I’m assuming the internal walls are also masonary based (brick perhaps?) so I’ll take a punt that there was no asbestos involved in the drilling. To be truely certain, you’d have to check the actual materials that were drilled to remove the guess work. Regards, Jeff.

  290. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gigi,
    I’d say any old stocks of AC sheet would have been well and truly used up by 1992, though you should be cautious of past DIYer’s who may have recycled materials creatively (depends on the construction history of your house) including AC sheeting. This certainly was the case for AC Super Six corrugated sheeting in the 1990′s where you could easily buy second hand asbestos sheeting in the newspaper classified week after week until sales of secondhand asbestos products was outlawed and enforced.

    Differentation between AC and cellulose cement can sometimes be difficult.The peeling and layering of the sample might suggest it’s cellulose based, but you should check for other features such as the pattern on the back and also you might want to take a close look at the composition using a powerful magifiying glass to see if you can identify any bundles of asbestos fibres. Though this is not very scientific. The only real way to confirm asbestos or not is by lab analysis. Regards Jeff.

  291. Kate Says:

    Yes Im pretty sure the internal walls are brick with plaster covering? Thankyou very much for your time and reply..Kate

  292. Dunq Says:

    Hi Jeff, really appreciate your site. My home was built 1916-1920 in Melbourne. The walls and ceilings have numerous cracks which have been repaired and painted over before, so I’m assuming they are very old, quite probably original. The eaves are exposed painted timber, which is good. For a house from that period, are there any likely asbestos dangers in the original materials?

    Of course, given its age there is one definite area with asbestos – the lean-to at the back has painted and unpainted sheeting in the laundry and the external walls of a stove alcove that projects out of the original kitchen wall. However, some of the panelling is more recent, which makes identifying the bad stuff a little harder. Are there different thicknesses of materials that can used as a guideline?

  293. mitch Says:

    if i die of asbestosis, ill come back, and james hardie legends will wish they never invented it, no money they sucked out of poor home owners will compensate what ill put them thru pls if u can pass this on to them

  294. mitch Says:

    employing over 50s in there factories to try and get around this??? they knew, and they will pay……..

  295. Dunq Says:

    I should clarify in my above comment that the house is weatherboard exterior. The lean-to is of more recent vintage (presumably post-war), with some use of masonite at some point, in addition to fibro sheeting (heavy unpainted exterior sheets, and thinner interior panels that have been painted) and some stuff that is too hard to work out.

  296. Kate Says:

    Can someone please tell me if asbestos was used in interior plaster in Australia… the one that covers brick walls ect? Old home not quite sure of date…Thankyou

  297. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kate, There are no reports of asbestos being added rendered plaster over brick walls in Australia. Jeff.

  298. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dunq, Sounds like an asbestos auditors dream (or nightmare). I’d place your house in the ‘quite likely’ to find asbestos category. With the possiblity of renovations and repairs done in the post war years using asbestos containing material a good prospect. So many thing could have been done.

    Some of the walls may have been replaced with asbestos fibro, but I’m thinking to be careful with some of the more unusual places to find asbestos. Like old hot water pipes that might have been lagged with asbestos insulation running through the walls and under the house. (Friable asbestos so is very dangerous). Also is there is a fire place? Check for any asbestos sheeting and asbestos insulation ‘rope’ around the flu (depending on the type of fire place). Check the roof space for any suspicious insulation also.

    Jeff.

  299. Peter Says:

    Hi Jeff i have a home from the 1950s the other day i broke a plaster wall in the bedroom and noticed there was straw in the wall. I was curious to find out why it was used?

    cheers

  300. Jeff Says:

    Hi Peter, The straw is used for thermal & accoustic insulation. Regards Jeff.

  301. Anthony Says:

    Hi Jeff, just wondering about the Hardiplank sheets with the woodgrain finish. I often see these on extensions built in the late 70′s, early 80′s. Do these contain asbestos?

  302. Sarath Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am cleaning up my backyard and removing the shed and concrete slap. I found asbestos buried under the concrete slap (3 square meters). I bought this property more than 4 years ago. Can I clean by my shelf or I have to call asbestos removal. Will the old owner be responsible for this cost?
    Please answer me thanks.

  303. Julie Says:

    Hey Jeff just a question regarding False brick cladding. My house was built in 1977 just wondering what the chances are of the backing sheet containing asbestos? My husband Has already done renovations..we have only now just thought of asbestos. Hope you can put my mind at ease..Thankyou and I hope for your response

  304. Julie Says:

    Hi Jeff just wondering if “false brick cladding” backing sheet is asbestos? My house was built in 1977 I’m pretty sure. We have already done renovations, it’s only now I have thought of asbestos? Hopefully you can put my mind at ease.thanks

  305. Dunq Says:

    Thanks heaps for your reply above. The roof space seems to only have batts and no loose material, so hopefully that’s ok. I’m being careful in “unusual places” as you put it – good reminder.

    Had an old builder/handyman over today and he was of the very firm opinion that the internal walls of the lean-to are just asbestos-free cement sheeting, which was interesting cos the asbestos removalist quote guys had been mixed in their opinions (which might be a business ploy). Anyway, the board is 4mm thick — is the handyman right that it couldn’t be an asbestos-containing product (he says all the asbestos sheeting was thicker) or should I get it tested?

  306. Julie Says:

    And im not even sure if the material is like the picture above of false brick cladding? The exterior is a cream/bone colour and has a very spikey feel to it when you run your hands over it. it has the lines of fake bricks on top of it which made me assume it was false brick cladding just seems mine has more texture then the pic above. Thanks Julie

  307. Jason Says:

    Hi Dunq,
    I would recommend you have it tested then you’ll know for sure. I have seen tradies and handymen get it wrong countless times before, probably due to no fault of their own. The lack of information or education about this silent killer means there is perhaps more doubt out there than should be. If you reside in New South Wales, you can make an application to your local council to view a copy of the original building certificate for that building when it had been built (approved), as the building certificate will list all the materials used, tech specs, etc. My brick veneer property was constructed in 1979 and that is how I knew for sure that the bathroom walls, 2 roof gables, and the eaves boarding, are all asbestos cement. I’ve had tradespeople here for other work previously and interestingly, when I’ve asked that topic previously, by the majority of them simply dismissing the possibility of asbestos means either the lack of knowledge out there about this silent killer, or that the tradie (through no fault of their own) do not want to believe it to be a possibility. Try the council building plans, councils (in NSW) may charge a small fee for you to view, or try the testing. Better safe than sorry. The certificate for my property clearly stated the full materials used, and spelled out “asbestos cement” in the bathroom walls and eaves boarding, and stated “pine wood” for the remaining walls. Do your research, find out for yourself, play it safe. All the best, Jase, Colyton NSW.

  308. Norman Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Do you know if asbestos was used in window sills of houses?

    Cheers

  309. Samantha Says:

    Hi Jeff
    My husband and I are renovating a storage room at the back of our house. Although our brick house was built in the seventies, this storage room was added on at a later date – we believe around late 80′s or early 90′s. The internal walls are made of hardiflex but we are unsure if they conain asbestos. Assuming there was a building permit for this addition would our council be able to tell us if the walls contained asbestos? They would abviously be able to confirm the date of construction which might help a little but when they do their inspections is this something they look for?
    Thanks

  310. Jason Says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I previously worked in investigations for one council in Sth Western Sydney. Assuming the storage room has council approval, then there will be a full building certificate that exists for it which will listing all of the measurements, specifications, etc, and (most importantly) the materials used. The date on this document will be the best clue as to when it was constructed. If the original building certificate (for your house itself) doesn’t contain this storage room, and no other document in the property file contains any approval or building certificate for any storage room, then it was possibly constructed without approval (we found plenty of these during my time at council). Some require approval some dont (exempt and complying development in NSW dont require approval) but i can tell you that rooms attached to a house will most certainly require approval from council. All councils in NSW will have a files compactus with paper files for each property. Gradually, all councils are having these scanned into electronic records, but many will still be hard copy paper files. There’s one of these for each lot number in that shire or council area, and the property file contains all of the approvals, etc. You can ring council and ask if there’s such a certificate and if approval, sometimes they will look and tell you, but otherwise, I would advise you to view (and when viewing, pay a small fee and they will make you a copy) of it, then you will see for yourself and can rest assured nothing was missed. The certificate will clearly state what the (proposed) walls, ceilings, etc, will be constructed of. Jase.

  311. Jason Says:

    Samantha,
    forgot to respond to your last point. When council building approval officers do their final inspection, the answer is No, because asbestos wasn’t outlawed at the time you state that it was built. At the time as asbestos was not illegal nationally, they wouldn’t then count that criteria (merely asbestos walls for instance) in their assessment. They’d look at things like structural integrity, rain water run off, etc etc etc, they have a list of criteria per policy/guideline/Building Code of Australia, etc.

  312. Julie Says:

    Hi Jeff just wondering if “false brick cladding” backing sheet is asbestos? My house was built in 1977 I’m pretty sure. We have already done renovations, it’s only now I have thought of asbestos? Hopefully you can put my mind at ease.thanks

  313. Rajiv Says:

    Hi Jeff, great website and great work you are doing. I recently bought a old fibro house circa 1952, on a large block of land in a desirable location. House is in much disrepair with external fibro cladding walls. This for renting it out for a few years to eventually sub-divide. I want to do the right thing by the new tenants and myself during the reno/fixing. I am aware of the dangers of asbestos and have taken many precautions. I am getting all delapidated AC sheds (backyard) removed by WorkCover licenced professionals (recommended by someone else)who will also remove fibro sheeting behind the kitchen wall and floor cabinets as I am getting a new kitchen done. A few things I have noticed but not too sure if they are asbestos and would like your opinion:
    1. Many walls in bedrooms and living areas and also in kitchen at the exposed wooden beading have white core with thick hair clearly visible. I was told by asbestos removalist that it is plaster board and the hair are horse hair or sisal. Is it your understanding too?
    2. A section of ceiling in the bedroom (extension) has sagged considerably, there is a hole in it too which the builder and asbestos removalist told me is plaster board but it is quite thin about 4mm though the hole edges show soft chalky looking edges. Are they right?
    3. Floors are wooden covered with lino/carpet. When I did a bit of rough lifting of the carpet/lino some dirt from underneath the carpets/lino came airborne. I was wearing p1/p2 mask at the time. Later I got worried and stopped it altogether. I am worried if it were asbestos fibres in dust and I might have inhaled them even with p1/p2 mask. I washed the clothes in the sink separately. Have I taken undue risk? The dirt could be just harmless dirt especially if the internal walls are plasterboard.
    4. Outside the fibro walls are cracking. The handyman working on it will put putty in the cracks and then paint it – undercoat and two topcoats same as done on internal walls. This should be okay, isn’t it?

  314. Rajiv Says:

    Hi Jeff, just remembered a few more points:
    5. The building inspector mentioned a hot water system in the roof cavity. Did not mention any lagging on it. Should it be inspected?
    6. One guttering guy will nail new downpipe on the outside AC wall at about 12 nails, he says he will be careful, wear a mask, wet the surface etc, seemed to know the asbestos risks, is there something he needs to do that I should tell him? Some fibres will become airborne and eventually fall on the ground. Is there a safer way?

  315. Jason Says:

    Hi all,
    just returned from New Zealand a week’s holiday exploring the South Island. Very interesting to note that as far as asbestos goes, their laws, unlike ours and Europe’s, have failed to go the full way so to speak in completely banning asbestos. Asbestos has been outlawed, however, it is not illegal in NZ to import other materials containing asbestos. For example car brake pads, machinery parts, etc. Thus I would conclude from that, that there’d still be mechanics out there in NZ install new brake shoes/pads/clutch discs in vehicles with the new parts possibly containing asbestos. Jase.

  316. jeff Says:

    Hi there. Those Christchurch earthquakes cracked up our ceilings and now we are getting the old plaster and lathe 1950s ceiling ‘done’. Sounds dumb but are we actually ok living in this house? I mean will it be ok for my toddlers? cheers! jeff’s wife

  317. John Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    My laundry walls have sheeting stamped Wunderlich but look exactly like the Hardiflex in the picture above. The house was built in 1974, is this likely to contain asbestos?

  318. kate Says:

    Hello,
    We’re on a low income and have found a very affordable ‘renovators delight!” in country Victoria. It is 1930s fibro inside and out. We have a baby and a toddler. Do you think it’s safe to live there if we don’t move the asbestos? Also, what is the best way to paint internal fibro walls if we took it?

    Many Thanks

    Kate

  319. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kate, The fibro walls should be relatively safe, and you can make sure by sealing them with a good quality water based paint. If the fibro sheets are in good condition then leave them as they are and paint over it. If there are numerous cracks and breakages, then that’s a problem as they’ll need replacing, which might be quite bit of work and a possiblity of stirring up old dust within.

    Best way to paint over the wall is with a roller and use a brush for smaller areas. Seal any gaps with a gap filler such as Selley’s No More Gaps.

    One thing to be on the lookout with such an old house is friable or loose asbestos, which is extremely dangerous. This type of material you might find in such places as insulating hot water pipes and around any chimney’s such as pot belly stoves (coils of asbestos rope). Also, be on the look out for loose asbestos insulation in the roof space (occasionally this was used before it was replaced by fibreglass insulation).

    Hope this helps. Jeff.

  320. Jeff Says:

    Hi John, Yes those sheets contain asbestos. Wunderlich was a competing brand against Hardies Fibro at the time. It is (was) very similar in specifications to the Hardies product …and is also asbestos based. Jeff.

  321. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jeff’s wife, plaster board in australia doesn’t contain asbestos fortunately. Hopefully NZ plasterboard is the same….otherwise no health risks involved. However, to be 100% certain, you should take a sample to your nearest asbestos testing lab for your own peace of mind. Regards Jeff.

  322. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, sorry about my slow reply. Quite interesting about your report of asbestos in NZ. I’m quite suprised, as NZ is often more progessive in these types of matters when compared to Australia. Jeff.

  323. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rajiv, sorry for late reply. Q1 &2 correct, old plasterboard does contains sisal or horse hair, newer versions contain fibreglass. Asbestos was not added to plasterboard and does not pose a health risk.

    Q3. Old lino may contain asbestos, however because it’s well bonded into the vinyl, the risk is minimal. Don’t use a polisher on it as this may release fibres. Some carpet underlay has the possibility of containing small amounts of asbestos, there are report of it being made from recycled bags that were used to transport asbestos. The mask was a wise precaustion, you can condsider hiring a HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean up dust under the lino and carpet as you replace it.

    Q4: This is fine. Seals the fibro nicely and should last quite a while. Cheaper than asbestos removal and replacement and less risk.

    Q5: I’d leave the hot water system as it is for the time being… when the time comes to replace it, then tackle asbestos issues then. May not be any asbestos there anyway.

    Q6: The usual risk in nailing asbestos is creating a big *CRACK* due to its brittle nature. Lay down some sheeting under the job to catch asbestos debris and have some PVA glue on hand to seal any exposed edges. If cracking is going to be problem, (particularly if its near the edge of the sheet) then he may need to consider drilling a hole in the asbestos first, then driving the nail through. Drilling into asbestos is a last resort, but it can be done safely. Use shaving foam when drilling the hole, and drill at low speed.

    Jeff.

  324. kate Says:

    Thans very much!

  325. mark Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for providing such a valuable resource – quality information sources for people doing renovations are practically non-existent. Everyone is scared of litigation I guess so the bottom line is always send it to a lab for testing.

    Anyway I’m another person doing a small bathroom reno, we cannot really date the existing but it is probably late rather than early 80s or even early 90s.

    Two of the walls are tile on board and like others here I broke a couple of small pieces of the underlying board when removing tiles. It has “James Hardie Board” printed in black on the back plus a series of numbers the first of which is 94 (on its own) – I am hoping this may be the manufacture date? My builder is convinced it does not contain asbestos. It has quite a soft cardboard consistency and similar colour to cardboard, is about 4 mm thick and looks like the Hardiflex in the pic on your site and there were no batons with it. Definitely does not look like that Tilux stuff. I’m taking the usual precautions, there’s less than 10m of it. Is it likely to be the safer stuff do you think?

  326. Eha Wolczecki Says:

    Hi Jeff, Our Daughter bought a house built in 1967 that had cement sheet lining with tiles in the shower that my husband removed as part of renovation ,throwing tiles and sheeting (2 sheets) outside. While tidying up our daughter found a James Hardie Warning Sticker,saying that there was minute asbestos and we were wondering what exactly this means. Of course we now have to take special care in cleaning and bagging .No special nails were used by whoever did the tiling ,and luckily as there were leaks the tiles virtually fell off the sheets when my husband put pressure on them .

  327. Jeff Says:

    Hi Eha, The asbestos warning label would indicate this asbestos sheeting is manufactured in early 1980′s. Yes it does contain asbestos and should be treated with all the usual asbestos removal and disposal precautions. These stickers were placed on asbestos products when finally the asbestos manufacturers accepted there ‘could’ be a health risk associated with asbestos and with mounting compensation claims in Australia and overseas (particularly the United States) product warnings were becoming fashionable, albeit too late. This type of sheeting may have been glued on, rather than nailed on. Well done cleaning it up.
    Jeff.

  328. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mark, Looks like you’ve done your homework. I suspect this is wet area fibre cement & is cellulose based. Markings like this tend to indicate a modern production and your description of the material would seem to support this. This is probably an early variety of what is now called Hardies Villaboard. Modern Villaboard is 6mm thick though earlier products may have been available in 4mm (hard to keep up with all of Hardies products). To be sure you can play it safe and use a P2 respirator and wet down the sheets plus do a good clean up afterwards. Jeff.

  329. Eha Wolczecki Says:

    Jeff, Thank you we shall make sure to clean it up as suggested.What a fantastic site.
    Eha

  330. Elizabeth Says:

    So far, this is the best web site to help me to identify the asbestos meterials used in the house built before 80s. FYI, I find a James Hardi Febrolite catelogue, http://archive.org/stream/CatalogueForHardiesFibroliteAsbestosCementSheetsAsbestosCement/JamesHardieCoyLtdCca88208#page/n27/mode/2up

  331. Jeff Says:

    Thanks Elizabeth for the link to the old Hardies catalogue. Jeff.

  332. Dunq Says:

    Hi Jeff and Jason (as he replied to a question too), I just want to add my experience so far for your readers. First I had three samples tested, one from the laundry and two from other spots in my pergola. The laundry sample was negative which made me very happy!

    A few days later I was inspecting the sheet that I had taken that sample from (one of four sheets around a window, with exposed edges where the window surround had been removed). I had a bright torch and noticed that the adjacent panel of same colour and thickness had a very slightly different surface. Whereas the tested panel was fairly smooth, the other panel had a pattern of tiny indentations like pin-pricks. I decided to take a sample, and lo and behold it was positive. So, half of the panels on that wall are bad and half are good, meaning I can’t tell what the rest of the (painted) walls in the laundry would be.

    Meanwhile, a passing comment by my dad led me to taking a sample of the panel above my stove in the kitchen. The panel had had a big hole cut out of it for the exhaust fan (a previous owner). During a recent roof leak, I had almost drilled a hole in the panel to facilitate drying of the area above the panel. I’m glad I didn’t, because the panel tested positive for asbestos too!

    I hope this helps readers to remember not to be too complacent or overconfident. Needless to say, every panel that the handyman had said was “just safe cement sheeting” was in fact bad.

  333. Eha Wolczecki Says:

    Hi Jeff, Another snag, my daughter removed a floating floor from main room which revealed green/cream square vinyl tiles that someone has glued directly to the hardwood floor boards. Wanted to lay carpet over the floor initially ,and as not sure if these have asbestos and how long they have been on the floor though they look quite stable , what to do next ,can these be covered safely with another material before the carpets laid? what a disaster. Can you or someone please adise the best option. Daughter is quite stressed out with the situation.
    Many thanks for this site.

  334. Jason Says:

    Dear all, I just saw this by accident, one would think the mass media would be giving it a great deal of air time for awareness but seems not. Thousands of cars imported here from China found to contain asbestos. Here’s the story link
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-15/chinese-cars-recalled-over-asbestos-concerns/4199630

    Take caution if you buy Great Wall Motors or Cherry Cars!

  335. Jeff Says:

    Well spotted Jason. Thanks. Regards Jeff.

  336. Jeff Says:

    Hi Eha, I’d cover the tiles over with the carpet as planned, this is perfectly safe and the cheapest option. You might find also, removing the tiles has potential to release more asbestos fibres as often the glue contained asbestos also. Put down some asbestos warning labels on the tiles as a precaution.

    Removing vinyl tiles from that wood is fair amount of work but it can be done with a spade and paint scraper along with the usual asbestos safety precautions. Not all vinyl tiles contained asbestos, but its best to treat them as if they did to be on the safe side. Jeff.

  337. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dunq, thanks for the follow up. Goes to show you can never be too careful. Jeff.

  338. Eha Wolczecki Says:

    Jeff,Thanks for your speedy response. Will take your advise and cover as planned. We were worried as asbestos is so dangerous.
    Eha

  339. Jason Says:

    Jeff, what’s more, a slap in the face, there’s a follow up story. The ACCC has ruled that the Chinese car maker’s don’t have to immediate replace the asbestos parts but must affix warning labels on the thousands of affected cars – it can be replaced at next service! Here the story link: http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/asbestos-parts-in-recalled-cars-wont-be-replaced-20120815-247jv.html#poll

    This is basically creating one law for the Chinese car makers by the ACCC and letting them get away with it. Because it involved thousands of cars imported here, the ACCC could have levelled a $3 million fine to the importer Car maker, could have injected more funding into our economy from the fine. An engineering company was fined around about $40,000 a few months ago for importing machinery here that contained asbestos parts. Good luck for re-sale value now if you have a Great Wall or Chery Chinese made car!

  340. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, I agree. Not only the ACCC ought to be upholding the law but also the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) should taking this very seriously. As an Australian citizen I find this situation is unacceptable that asbestos products are passing over the border and into Australia in breach of Australian customs laws. So far I haven’t seen any action taken by ACBPS yet. (I will check this further)

    There are several key issues:

    Different laws, different people: All importers of goods are subject to the laws of Australia. Importation of asbestos products is one law that should be strictly enforced without exception. It is unacceptable that one company can get away without being penalised, whilst another company is fined heavily. It borders on either corruption or incompetance if no action is taken. Other car importers follow the rules, why don’t the importers Cherry or Great Wall?

    Press releases mention consumers are not at risk: The real issue is OH&S for mechanics. In the future, mechanics, auto parts dealers and even scrap metal mercahnts who may assume the gaskets do not contain asbestos will be exposed to asbestos. Who will take responsibilty for the damage this will cause? Chery? Great Wall?, Ateco? or the Australian government departments of ACCC and Australian Customs Service? I can see history repeating itself here that no one will take responsibility and simply ‘pass the buck’.

    Fact sheet from ACBPS: http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/FS_ImportingAsbestos.pdf

    I ask the the government of Australia…how are they protecting its citizens from imported goods containing asbestos?

    Jeff.

  341. Jason Says:

    Let’s hope Customs take action and issue some fines to make an example out of them. I’m sure somewhere our economy could do with 3 million. I’ve tried to ring talk back radio to have achat about this, 2ue Sydney, each time the first person who answers the call takes my name and when i state i want to talk about this, they say “we’ll ring you back!” And they never ring back! Perhaps they think I’m making it up, and i probably can;t blame them if they do given that the mass media seem to not want to run with this in general in what should be otherwise big news.

  342. Rajiv Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Many thanks for the reply.

    I am getting external AC sheeting repaired and painted, the handyman used broom to remove old flaky paint and cobwebs from the surface.

    Q1 – Is it a safe and acceptable practice? He did not wet the surfaces nor used any drop sheets.

    Q2 – Is it possible that asbestos fibres might have got released? I saw that quite a bit of dust was created which could have been just the old paint and normal environmental dust.

    Q3 – if asbestos fibres did get released, some of these would have settled on the ground, a part of which was dug out by hand to work under the piers. People including myself are walking on and around the dug out spoil – does this pose a risk or am I worrying too much?

  343. Janice Waghorn Says:

    I was just wondering my parent built a hardiplank home in the late 70′s and was wondering did hardiplank homes have asbestos and did the gypock in that time have asbestos

  344. Muzza Says:

    Gday

    We had some work done in out Laundry on our 60′s house, I am thinking it may be asbestos.

    A sample is currently at the lab but I am worried as it is all broken up and I have been exposed to some.

    It did have on the back of it Villaboard by Wunderlich so I think it might be

  345. Muzza Says:

    here are some pics

    http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/adammurray03/DC982273-87CE-4EE2-970C-79EB60CE11B8-1354-00000145442776DD-1.jpg

  346. Jeff Says:

    Hi Muzza, I’ll have a good bet this is asbestos. Wunderlich was a manufacturer of asbestos cement products in the 1950′s 60′s and 70′s. Also the Villaboard trade name was used by Hardies (and still is) but was carried over from asbestos production into cellulose based products. I think I recall Hardies purchasing some of Wunderliches equipment and products when they were wound up in the 70′s. So I suggest your sample is an asbestos based Wunderlich Villaboard.

    Jeff.

  347. Jeff Says:

    Hi Janice, the 1970′s HardiPlank would most certainly contain asbestos (therefore take care if doing repairs or renovations). The Gyprock doesn’t contain asbestos and is no problem.

    Jeff.

  348. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rajiv, It would be also wise for the painter to wear a P2 mask during prep work.

    1. Use soft broom and some water but don’t flood it. Use drop sheet underneath to capture flakey paint. If the flakey paint is localised, then just treat that area. Preferably use a sealer / binder where possible to avoid some of the prep work altogether. Other techniques are brushing with foam, and using a sealer /binder.

    2. I tend to think some asbestos fibres would have been released from your painters method, though much of this visible dust was probably surface and paint dust. Definately should have wet down during prep work. Take into account some asbestos fibres could already be present in the soil from the original construction (drilling and cutting was common of AC sheet installation). I would suggest there is small amount of asbestos in the soil and perhaps a slight risk associated with it.

    Jeff.

  349. BJ Says:

    I have a 1969 double brick house. Looking at doing a laundry renovation.

    I can’t find much information on this scenario – the laundry internal walls are red brick with about 1″ cement render on top of brick and what looks like a thin layer (around 3mm) of white plaster on top of the cement render.

    Laundry is part of the original house and the layer of cement render and thin plaster is throughout the house.

    Any chance that any part of the laundry walls – especially the thin plaster surface layer – could be or contain asbestos ?

  350. Rajiv Says:

    Thanks Jeff.

    Its great to be able to converse with someone who is willing to share their knowledge. A few more queries:

    1. One of the bedrooms has a section of sagged ceiling plus a fist sized hole. The ceiling looks like 8-10mm thick, no fibres are visible, hole cut out edge looks greyish/whitish. Fibro removalist said it is plasterboard, builder said its plasterboard, handyman also says its plasterboard! Could it be asbestos based or should I get it checked? The original house was made in 1952, although this is the ‘newer’ extension, date of construction is unknown.

    2. The internal walls of this room and another room (both are the extension of the house) have no joints unlike other walls of the original house. Outside its all AC sheeting. Could the internal walls of the extension be normal gyprock or could they still be asbestos based?

    Thanks in advance. Rajiv

  351. Alan Says:

    I have a shed made from cement sheeting. The sheeting is quite possible 30+ years old. The profile of each sheet has eleven small ridges. I have not been able to find reference to this type of sheeting anywhere. I can only assume it is older than super six that has seven ridges and is most likely to contain asbestos. Can you shed (ha ha) any light as to what the sheeting is that I have and whether it does contain any asbestos?

    Any help is greatly appreciated Alan.

  352. Jennie Says:

    My neighbour has 70s brick cladding falling off the side of his house and into my vegetable garden. They refer to it as low level asbestos, but as I eat entirely from my garden I am concerned. Pieces fall into my vegetable garden.
    Now they deny it is asbestos possibly because they are about to remove it.
    There is scaffolding along the whole side of house now.
    Is it dangerous to eat from the garden and what should I do.
    I have asked them to contact me when planning to work on the wall, as I would stop planting and working in my garden. They now claim it is not asbestos and do not communicate with me about their plans sadly.
    What will the soil quality be like?
    thanks for any assistance

  353. Nick Says:

    I am looking at purchasing a home built in 1941. The building report has indicated that there may be asbestos cladding in the ceiling and walls, and that the eves. How extensive was the use of asbestos in the early 1940s? From what I’ve read its use became more extensive post WW11.

  354. Jason Says:

    Hi Jennie,
    I just wanted to add my comment if I may. In my backyard (1979 built 3 bed BV property with some a/c sheeting in bathroom/laundry/eaves) there’s a garden bed measuring about 4 x 4 sqm or so. When my parents helped me purchase this property in 2003, there were some asbestos sheets that formed the boundary of that garden bed to the side boundary fencing, between the garden bed and neighbouring fence. As soon as I did a short asbestos identification course back in 2007 when i worked for council, I recognised what it was and it was in Ok condition and it stayed there all until 3 months ago, when i paid a certified asbestos removalist to come and remove it all, which he did, and further, he took several samples of the soil in the garden bed and sent them off to a laboratory for testing. The tests all returned negative for asbestos. The results, which the lab emailed to me as the asbestos removalist requested, showed everything else in the sample, i can remember plaster was listed, as was glass, but not asbestos. On that basis, the soil appears to be safe and not cross contaminated. I did have the option to have the soil from that garden bed removed and disposed and new soil trucked in, but since it’s not cross contaminated, why should I, and given that the asbestos pieces for the borders where unbroken and in good condition. If you want to prove whether or not it was asbestos on their house for the brick cladding, i would apply to the local council and seek to view the building certificate for their property. Even though you are not the owner of their lot, you can still apply to view as you have a valid reason, and access won’t be refused since it doesn’t fit in the ‘public interest’ category to refuse it. Since it’s 1970s like my property, the building certificate will most certainly be in the property file and will list the material the brick cladding is made of. You can then copy that document if you want to use it for anything further down the track, for instance legals, etc.

  355. Jeff Says:

    Hi BJ, No asbestos in this layer of plaster render. This is a common internal wall finishing method for brick houses that is still used today. Thankfully, as far as I know, asbestos was not added to any plaster products in Australia. Jeff.

  356. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rajiv,

    I agree with the builder and handyman. This sounds like plasterboard and doesn’t present a danger (unless it falls on you). The other rooms you describe with no joins also sound like plasterboard or gyprock as well. This was a common configuration for many fibro homes of the 50, 60 and 70′s period. Jeff.

  357. Jeff Says:

    Hi Alan, This known as standard profile asbestos cement sheeting and it sort of looks like the asbestos version corrugated tin (as used on the roof) and is the baby brother of ‘Super Six’ asbestos sheeting. It was quite commonly used on domestic garages and sheds in the 1960′s and 70′s. There are references to it in old Hardies catalogues and it may also have been produced by Wunderlich as well. It came in various lengths from 4 feet to 10 feet and was 7/32″ in thickness and was available in curved sections made on order by the factory. Take all the usual asbestos removal precautions when dealing with it.

    I’ll post up some photos of this for future reference :-)

    Jeff.

  358. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jennie, Thanks for Jason’s comments to this question also. Ingestion of asbestos has never really been an issue (though there has been some suggestions it can cause colon cancer if ingested). The big issue with asbestos is inhalation of the fibres, and the resulting lung diseases of asbestosis and mesothelioma.

    First thing you should establish is whether or not it is asbestos… and not just old cement render falling off the brickwork due to age and dampness. Generally asbestos sheeting doesn’t fall apart due to age. Send me some photos if you like. jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

    Make a formal complaint to your local council ‘in writing’ if no action is taken.

    Jeff.

  359. Jeff Says:

    Hi Nick, yes asbestos was being used in the early 1940′s. Refer to the book ‘A Very Good Business – One Hundred Years of James Hardies Industries’ by Brian Carroll. Other manufacturers were also making asbestos products besides Hardies.

    Your right, post WW2 production of asbestos products is when it really took off, and there were often ‘asbestos shortages’ due to the the demand. Raw asbestos was sourced locally in Australia, but also much of it was imported from Canada and some from South Africa.

    The 1941 house could have been renovated many times over the years and may contain a variety of different asbestos sheetings and other asbestos products, not to mention modern cellulose fibre cement products. Asbestos auditor’s dream house…I love your house :-)

    Jeff.

  360. Jeff Says:

    Thanks Jason, sound advice again as usual :-) Jeff.

  361. Kate Says:

    Can someone plz tell me if my false brick cladding house would have asbedtos in the exterior? Like the backing board behind the cladding even? We have already done renovations to the wall but now Iam concerned :/ house was built in 1977 im pretty sure thanks

  362. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kate, Yes the false brick cladding does contain asbestos. The backing sheet is essentially a sheet of asbestos cement fibro. Take precautions if you are dealing this type of cladding. Regards Jeff.

  363. Jason Says:

    No worries Jeff, happy to contribute. I dare say, back to the imported Chinese vehicles with asbestos parts, if the government wanted to flex it’s muscle/s, it would be able to issue fines to Great Wall and Chery totalling $3,000,000 (3 mil) given how many cars imported and each car imported with asbestos constitutes a separate offence. The $3,000,000 could certainly do well in Sydney University’s asbestos diseases research unit.

  364. Jason Says:

    Hi all,
    just stumbled upon this by accident, that alternators and starter motors used to contain asbestos until not very long ago it seems.
    http://www.boschautoparts.co.uk/abEnvi10.asp?c=5&d=1
    2nd paragraph down. Now in all the Haynes/Gregorys manuals i’ve seen even for older cars, have never seen any asbestos warnings in the starter motor/alternator sections, but then as Bosch state, it’s in a form where it cannot release fibres or dust. I guess we wouldn’t want to go smashing car components like starter motors or alternators to smithereens or kingdom come with sledge hammers now we? But it never ceases to amaze me how far the A product was used and in what variety, etc.

  365. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, nice work and thanks for that link. I was not aware of this either and never noticed any asbestos warnings in official factory manuals as well for altenators, generators and starter motors. But, it’s logical they would have used asbestos thinking about it now.

    I’m guessing the specific parts containing asbestos would be insulation covering some of the copper wiring and also asbestos fibre washers. I recall seeing these in some of my old Lucas starter motors (1960′s vintage) whereby some of the internal wiring could be subject to heavy load and heat (a fire resistant product would ideally be used here). I’ll dismantle one next time and check it.

    Jeff.

  366. Jason Says:

    Good stuff. I only found out accidentally as I broke the golden rule when working on my mother’s old 99 WF Festiva (a spare car for all of us whoever needs it) – the alternator drive belt was squealing so i replaced it and the belt was loose with the tensioner next to the alternator pulley. So I grabbed a long steel pipe for leverage and pulled back on the alternator while using my other hand to do up the tensioner mount bolt..! All went well until kaputt! My left arm slipped and the steel pipe came in to contact with the alternator wiring setting off a spark on the alternator bigger than a red light camera snapping you with a flash at night! I failed to disconnect the battery when doing this simple task! I killed the alternator and some major fuses and upon ordering a new alternator, found the above information about asbestos and alternators.

  367. john limpus Says:

    Hi, I am a licenced asbestos removalist with many years of experience & would be more than happy to answer any questions in relation to asbestos identification & removal costs etc.
    Note: Asbestos awareness week is 26- 30 November 2012
    Please google Asbestos Deseases Foundation (ADFA ) for more details & events etc.

  368. Asbestos Removal Guide : Real Estate Redlands, Bayside Queensland, Cleveland, Raby Bay, Thornlands, Victoria Point, Ormiston, Says:

    [...] http://asbestosremovalguide.com/446/how-to-identify-asbestos-fibro-cladding/ [...]

  369. Ali Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for such informing site, like everyone else mentioned wish I could stumble on your site earlier. I have recently replaced an outdoor lighting attached to the eaves, which was crumble apart and without thinking I went up and replaced it with new light fitting, which involve drilling two hole around 5mm in diameter for the new fitting, without wearing any protective gear thinking it was a quick job (took around 15minutes), only afterward I thought about the material could be asbestos cement sheet and took late precaution like shower, cleaning down the ladder, dispose the cloth I wore in plastic bag and changed all sit covers in the car (some of equipment used have been transported in the family car). I took some sample and had it tested by the lab and resolute came back positive with chrysotile asbestos. This is the first time I have ever encounter and handled asbestos material, should I be worried about myself and my families health? (who’s been in the car after the job). Feeling extremely stupid and worried…
    Is this short period of exposure going to have any ill effect in long term? should I have myself, my wife and my kids check yearly for any health issues?

  370. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ali, This small exposure is sometimes all it takes to develop an asbestos related lung disease, unfortunately. It is said one asbestos fibre may eventually lead to a lung disease after a latency period of 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately this is the nature of asbestos and why so much controversy surrounds the product. I would suggest your wife and kids probably have not been exposed (but depends on the details of the situation).

    To balance this scary story, asbestos exposure doesn’t always lead to asbestosis or mesothelioma. My father insisted on trimming Super Six with an angle grinder in the 1970′s without a mask(!), and smoked also(!!). Now in his eighties, he has no sign of lung disease.

    Action plan: Keep a detailed record of dates of exposure and take photos of the job along with light fittings. Keep the lab report of the sample which shows it was Chrysotile asbestos in the same file. (always keep good records.. you might need them in the future).
    For yourself: Make an appointment with your local GP who will refer you to a specialist, perhaps for some blood tests and chest X-rays. This is something that needs to done every few years to incase somes changes occur in your lungs.
    Get a second opinion if needed. Also make inquiries with the asbestos diseases society (or similar) in your state which might have an better course of action.

    So many other people have unfortunately have done the same, modern renovators and DIYer’s who have drilled, cut and smashed asbestos without realising ‘it is’ asbestos. The concern now, is the ‘Third Wave’ of asbestos disease suffers (renovators and DIYer’s) who are expected to fall victim.

    Good Luck!

    Jeff.

  371. John Byrne Says:

    As a tiling contractor being involved in residential bathroom renovations ,I stress to anyone doing renovations on homes before 1990 PLEASE at the very least pay the $120 dollars and get it tested if not presume it is, use suits , respirators, put plastic sheets on the floor, remove without grinding, spray down wrap in 200 um plastic ,seal with duct tape and take it to the correct dumping area, better still get the professionals with air monitors .I am so sick and tired of going to Quotes and informing people that their wet areas may contain asbestos, with 98% not believing it, thinking I am using scare tactics to win the job and the work being given to contractors who deny asbestos and go and remove it without protection.Its amazing that as soon as I mention the word asbestos, I know that I will not be getting the work.Its your life
    take care John

  372. Jason Says:

    Hi John,
    I’m not at all surprised at people’s turn off or sudden shock of hearing that “A” word. We need the federal government to run a regular mass media campaign on asbestos and now. Similar to the “stop revive survive” (road safety) as well as the anti smoking campaign. Until we get that, I believe people’s attitudes won’t change. Being a DIY mechanic, I like to take all precautions if there’s any possibility of asbestos…when I suggested to someone that I will wear a breathing apparatus to merely change brake pads (though on a vehicle made by Kia in Korea thus where asbestos was legal at the time), they thought I was mad! When i went to Eastern Europe last year to meet relatives, many of whom haven’t seen me since i was born here in 1980, for a country that mines/sell abroad asbestos, when I mentioned to family overseas about it, they think I’m O.C.D (obsessive compulsive disorder). My sister once thought I was autistic by being so obsessed with mentioning so many different forms of it to her! But as long as we have these attitudes, people will stay away from the topic, they’ll pretend it don’t exist, they continue to expose themselves unneccessarilly. I guess the best we can do is keep bringing it up in conversation casually with family and friends and whoever, as soon as you can think of something to say about it, bring it up in conversation, etc, get more and more ppl thinking about it. It’s that “she’ll be right” attitude or approach that’s going to see more and more ppl getting exposed unless the government steps in… How many ppl here remember the new VB (Victoria Bitter) TV commercial? It screen here in Sydney several weeks ago, it has one very short scene, maybe a second long, where it shows a man sanding a plaster ceiling and no face mask, he just has a shirt tied around his face, i think it’s part of VB’s theme of the ‘man’ image, the stereotypical beer drinker perhaps their target audience… trouble is with that scene, much of VB’s target audience will will look at that and go ahead and renovate whatever they like possibly using a shirt as a mask, they saw it on TV, surely it must be right for them too?! Incidentally, I sent some feedback to VB a few weeks ago and complained about that scene in their ad and haven’t seen the ad screen on TV in Sydney since.

  373. Billy Says:

    Hey, my dad had just finished taking apart an old chicken coop that had been on our property since well before we bought it in 2006 and it just occurred to us that it that the sheets on the walls could possibly have been asbestos. Maybe the coops aren’t old enough to possibly be asbestos but we have no way of telling. So any ways I took some photos and I’m wondering if we can get some more opinions from on what it may be.

    http://i49.tinypic.com/zmmat0.jpg
    http://i45.tinypic.com/jj5t0k.jpg
    http://i48.tinypic.com/110vrfc.jpg

    A few of those sheets are different and one of them does seem to have a similar pattern to what that hardiflex has no it, but does that mean it’s safe?

  374. Jeff Says:

    Hi Billy,
    The first shot looks like I can see a few bundles of fibres sticking out there, so I’d put this in the ‘most probably is asbestos cement sheet’ category.

    The other two pics look to be a combination of older and newer style sheeting, one sheet is cut with an angle grinder & could be modern sheeting such as Hardiflex.

    Because there is (most likely) asbestos sheeting mixed in with this, I’d treat the whole lot as hazardous asbestos waste. Therefore take all the usual asbestos precautions and use safety gear (coveralls, P2 respirator, gloves etc). Wet down, wrap and seal it up in black plastic and duct tape. It’s not worth effort of separating the sheeting.

    Jeff.

  375. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff

    In my garage there are a few edges of unsealed/unpainted cut fibro sheeting, in addition to other places where small chips have come off walls.

    Is there any danger in this, or is the asbestos still bound into the fibro cement?

  376. David Says:

    Jeff

    I have an old weatherboard house, which I cut to fit a cat door. Only afterwards did I think of the possibility of asbestos exposure, particularly as I has no PPE and my family was inside. I did some checks and on the back of the boards is a big green “ASBESTOS FREE” stamp, every metre or so. Please can you confirm if these stamps were placed to identify products are asbestos free so I can sleep at night.

    Cheers
    David

  377. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Fortunately the asbestos fibres are still quite well bound up the asbestos cement matrix. The risk is low, though I suspect the occasional fibre may break free and be released.

    You can seal chipped areas or corners with a clear sealer-binder or use thinned down PVA wood working glue such as Aquadhere for internal areas.

    Jeff.

  378. Jeff Says:

    Hi David,

    Confirmed. This is cellulose based fibre cement sheeting and does not contain asbestos. These stamps were put on various fibre cement products manufactured in the mid 1980′s after asbestos products were phased out.

    I’d love you to take a photo of this and send it to me to shows others. Email to jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

    Jeff.

  379. David Says:

    Thanks Jeff

    I have emailed through a photo.

    Regards
    David

  380. Iain Tice Says:

    I helped my builder with a renovation to our bathroom in 1986, using Hardiflex for the walls. We’re still in the same house. We bought the sheets from a builder’s hardware with very rapid stock turnover. How confident can I be that these sheets would be cellulose, not asbestos?

  381. Jane Hyland Says:

    Hi Jeff
    This is a really informative page, thankyou.
    I have started to pull up ceramic tiles from my kitchen floor. They are concreted to some sort of hardiflex sheeting that has no identifying name stamped on any pieces I have pulled up. My neighbour reports the kitchen floor was laid 25/30 years ago. She aso told me at the same time professional Asbestos Removalists removed the asbestos roof (protective gear/wrapped in plastic).
    I was told that asbestos is cold to touch but this stuff is not. It also is imprinted with the long lines as opposed to the golf ball dimpling. It tears like paper bark in layers and popped with a dull pop when I broke it (I thought asbestos snapped/cracked as it’s brittle?)
    I’m stressing that I might have exposed my family and myself to something truly terrible!
    Cheers, Jane

  382. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jane,

    This is a floor underlay product that is put over wooden floor prior to tiling, the idea is to smooth out the lumps and bumps of the wooden boards and the long lines are probably to help the adhesive stick to the wood and tiles.

    Going on the date your neighbour gave you, this dates it into the mid 1980′s. I’d be cautious about the composition of the product from that age, as it may contain asbestos. There’s too little information to go on at the moment to make a positive identification, so your best bet would be have a sample lab tested. Either that, or treat it as containing asbestos, better to be safe than sorry.

    Jeff.

  383. Jeff Says:

    Hi Iain,

    I’m pretty sure this would cellulose based sheeting. I recall doing similar work in my toilet around the same period and the new Hardiflex was being promoted as asbestos free back then.

    Jeff.

  384. Daniel b Says:

    I just bought a house that was built in 1962.. I am interested as to the cladding on the house, whether it is asbestos and what type..

    Somewhere in time the house has had two rooms added.. I’m not sure when but I have a feeling that when this happened the original lining was replaced all way around…

    I have my suspicions that during the renovations the owners have replaced the housing material entirely as:
    The house has had two additional rooms and the cladding all the way around the house overlaps and matches.. The house has three, three panel sliding doors stamped to meet Australian standards of 1975 for door glass doors..

    All windows and doors are aluminium with a brown coating (dont think this would have existed in the 60s)and all cladding meets up perfectly to the windows and doors with no evidence of what would have been previous wooden windows?

    Corners of cladding are aluminium and joiners are the plastic type as per picture in the article..Does anyone know when the plastic joiners began (I imagine 70s)..

    Also, the back of the fibro looks (from memory) like the hardiflex picture above..

    I am hoping that the fibro is modern hardiflex with either no or a small percentage of asbestos, or even if it is not the blue stuff from the 60s which is supposedly the worst..

    Based on what i wrote above, I am pretty sure that at some stage the external wall has been replaced all the way around.. I have called council and they don’t know when the renovations/ extensions happened…

    Any ideas on other ways to tell if it has all been replaced?

    Based on info I provided, what do you think the age of the cladding could be?

    Interested on thoughts, opinions and ideas?

  385. Daniel b Says:

    Hi jeff..

    One other question I wanted to ask is… Recently we had a floor sander/ polisher in to resend and polish our cypress floors which were last sanded and polished I would say in the 60s…

    My concern is that the gap filler between the gaps in the floor strips contains asbestos… In assuming this isn’t the case??? But just wanted to check..

  386. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    From what you describe, the brown aluminium frames, plastic joiner strips, pattern on the back of the sheeting…this all sounds very 1980′s renovation like. The plastic strips were first introduced around 1980 and may have been used in the last few years of asbestos sheeting production used is housing construction (early 1980′s, so don’t rely soley on plastics strips for a conclusion).

    Also interesting that you suspect all the lining has been replaced, makes me wonder why the previous owner would go to the extra effort. You might want to check the type of nails used. Larger clout heads may suggest original asbestos fibro material is still intact and smaller clout heads (as used with modern Hardiflex) indicate a more modern material. Check consistency of the nail heads all over which may add weight to your theory.

    So it’s possible you do have cellulose based Hardiflex, but to be absolutely sure you’ll need to take a sample for lab testing. If you’re not doing any renovation or alterations, then you can let it be, albeit with an unsolved mystery.

    As for the floor sanding, you’ll be surprised that asbestos was used in all sorts of fillers, putties and some paints in the 1960′s. Whether or not the filler used in your floor contains asbestos I’m not sure. Perhaps you should pry out a sample of the filler and send it for lab testing.

    Jeff.

  387. Anthony Says:

    Hi Jeff, thanks do much for such an informative site.

    I am repainting my porch and stairs of my 1960s house and was wondering if the cement stairs could contain asbestos? They are solid cement. I have been scrapping the paint off and plan to etch it, is it safe to do so? Was asbestos added to solid concrete ?

    Thanks so much

  388. Jeff Says:

    Hi Anthony,

    It should be ok. No asbestos concern here. You might want to be cautious of the old paint flakes though, as old paint often contains LEAD! So wear gloves and a dust mask just to be on the safe side.

    Regards, Jeff.

  389. Daniel b Says:

    G’day jeff.. Wow… Well i find that quite surprising and alarming that the floors we just had sanded and polished would have it in the crumbling putty mix between the timber slats and nail holes.. Now I’m seriously worried! Since you’re reply I have contacted three places that test and they said it would be “unlikely” so I hope on this occasion you’re wrong! Lol

    What surprises me is if that was the case I would have thought that the floor sanders that did the job or the others that did quotes would have been more aware seeing they sand previoudly polished old floors every day??

    I did flip you an email with some photos and a few other questions…

    Thanks again..

  390. Jeff Says:

    Yup, just be careful with putties and sealants from the 1960′s.

    Check this link:
    Asbestos in window putties and mastics

    Asbestos was used in surprisingly and varied ways back then. Hopefully your floor putty is non asbestos containing.

    Regards, Jeff.

  391. Daniel b Says:

    Cheers mate… Yeah it looks like its mainly concerned with window mastics… But yes I know that it can be in anything…. The floor sander when quoting did pull up some of our vinyl floor sheet floor and noted that there was Masonite underneath and that there may be another floor containg asbestos under that…. Apparently if it is in vinyl flooring it is in either the black tar glue or in white paper form as insulation under the vinyl… Codes that sound about right?

  392. Daniel b Says:

    Hey jeff… Now that the floor sanding and polishing is complete,,, for peace of mind, do u think u should get the dust inside our vacuum cleaner tested? Would that be accurate?? Keeping in mind the place has been vacuumed three times and emptied after the first… The floor sander sanded over a range of surfaces on the timber floor, from bits of tar to current putty and filler…. Or do you think I should try scrape up a small amount of crumble from between the floorboards? I called one place and they said they have never found it in floor putty.. They also said that because the place was aired out and we didn’t move in for two weeks after the work it would be fine so not worth the cost… I guess that the coats of lacquer applied to the floor would have helped as well…?

  393. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    The best strategy would be to pry out some of the filler or putty between the boards in a descreet spot, put it into a small plastic resealable bag and label it. There may be several different types of putties you need to sample. Then take it for lab analysis. Fingers crossed for negative results.

    The lacquer would certainly seal it well, though all the dust created from sanding is the main concern, as it can go everywhere.

    As regards to the vacuum cleaner, domestic vacuum cleaners are not suitable for cleaning up asbestos waste as the fibres pass right through the filter, and make the situation *worse*. A proper HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Vac should be used for this purpose. An asbestos contaminated domestic vaccum cleaner is something you don’t want to use again.

    The main issue is to determine whether or not the putty contains asbestos…hopefully not, and then you will have peace of mind.

    Jeff.

  394. Jim Watt Asbestos Surveys Edinburgh Says:

    One thing to add to this article is the fact that I personally have run ins with contractors on a weekly basis on the grey area which is pre-refurbishment asbestos surveys which are of course required under the control of asbestos regulations whenever a commercial property (or a property where there is a duty of care to adhere to) is to have major refurbishments, or as the HSE put it “fabric of the building is disturbed” The area that needs clarification is where a contractor feels they are exempt from said survey as the work they are carrying out is in a non-domestic property and therefore a pre-refurb survey of the property prior to the works is not required, or so they believe! Unfortunately asbestos does not discriminate between domestic and non-domestic properties and the amount of callouts our company receives when “suspected” asbestos material has been disturbed in a domestic refurb is quite staggering. Hopefully the HSE will look at this situation and revise the guidelines to encompass this. I have found your article very informative and I link to it in our next newsletter where hopefully some others may pitch in at a later date.

  395. Jason Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    You might read this and have a bit of a chuckle as that’s what I did, but would you ever think that impact wrenches could potentially contain asbestos heat shielding equipment inside them? Brand new ones made at present? I just purchased a digital impact torque wrench on Ebay, very excited at the time as I got it for just $81, a bargain!! And it also has a LCD into which you can select the desired torque in NM and the wrench will do the rest. It’s made in China and here’s the link to the item http://www.agrmachinery.com.au/buy/demac-digital-impact-wrench-1200/impw1200 But upon reading the safety booklet, the following is how it reads, “The following hazards may arise in connection with the tool’s construction and design: (a) damage to lungs if an effective dust mask is not worn,…”
    There’s warnings for (b) and (c) which are damage to hearing if PPE isn’t worn and “health defects” from vibration emission. I’m totally surprised to find the lung warning of all things an impact wrench! My only guess is that perhaps they may have made the internal heat insulation material from asbestos?? What do you think given such a warning? I am thinking of writing to Australian Customs and making the item available should they wish to tear it down and test it.

  396. Jason Says:

    Hi again Jeff,
    I forgot to state, the text as stated on the product manual of the item as previous actually appears under the sub-heading “residual risks”. But even if it appears as a section as residual risk, I am suspicious of it, because the other 2 risks next to the risk of lung damage are (hearing) and (health defects from vibration), which are both quite obvious if you use it for a long time without ear muffs, etc. But I don’t see how impact wrenches can carry a residual risk for lung damage if you dont wear an “effective dust mask” unless of course the item contains some sort of asbestos insulation inside to protect from overheating the plastic covering. If the “residual risk” refers to someone using the wrench removing a vehicle’s brake caliper for instance, they surely they would have mentioned somewhere the work ‘vehicle’ or ‘auto’ or brakes, etc. To me, that seems like they are providing a warning, and going by that, it means if you want to be safe using this Chinese made impact wrench means you need wear “an effective dust mask”. What do you think?

  397. Deanne Says:

    Our house was built in 1927 and is mainly fibro my sons have accidentally put a couple of holes in their bedroom walls and now I’m worried that it could be asbestos did they use it back then?

  398. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Nicely spotted again. I’m really surprised a Chinese manufactured piece of equipment even has an asbestos warning label! The health ‘defects’ warning is a worry, are they using radioactive components?

    The impact wrench is an electric 240vac so I’m guessing some part of the electric motor and wiring has asbestos insulation… possibly due to high loads that may occur (and when the motor burns out…). Maybe it does have some asbestos wrapping internally around the handgrip to insulate it as you’ve suggested. Would need to strip one down to check.

    Or could be they are suggesting, asebstos brake dust on wheels / rims / brakes might be the residual hazard (old cars with old asbestos brake pads sure do) …which is quite a valid concern.

    Certainly, a new impact wrench should not be emitting asbestos fibres as the wording suggests. Perhaps a letter to Australian Customs would be a good idea, after all this why we are paying taxes in this country. Let them check this.

    Jeff.

  399. Jeff Says:

    Hi Deanne, Yes it was around then, not as widespread and mainly used on roofing and tiles. However, the house may have been relined at a later stage with asbestos fibro. I suggest you pick up any broken pieces and bag them. Wipe over much as the room with a damp cloth and around the walls near the break and the floor also. Seal the broken edges with PVA glue or water based paint. Seal the hole with a piece of galvanised sheet, glue it on with liquid nails. Jeff.

  400. David Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am extremely glad to find this site. I live in a house built in 1921 in Portland Oregon (US). My land lord tore apart my bathroom, and the walls are lath and plaster, with about a half inch coat of plaster as the interior wall. The plaster is like concrete, light grey, with specs of dark aggrogate. After the wall was half way torn apart, I took a piece of the plaster off and it had some type of light colored fiber that stretched tight as I pulled it away from the wall. I can send pictures if you’d like.

    I was wondering if you know how likely it is to be asbestos?

    Thank You Jeff,

    David

  401. Daniel b Says:

    G’day jeff… I contacted 6 different floor sanders and they said that old floor putty is old linseed oil…. 2 actually had a laugh when I mentioned it, so on this occasion I’ll trust their word and what’s done is done… The Dyson we have is not the proper vacuum but on the wild chance the putty may have had it, it’s hepa filter may have saved us. The asbestos testing guy didn’t mention it as a possibility either… I guess if it was its sealed now and we didn’t move back in for weeks since the work…

    Thanks for your advice recently on hardieplank cladding… It’s good news to know that the hardieplank I have with plastic profile joiners is asbestos free… I do notice tho that my mothers place which was built in 1979 has a similar type of cladding and plastic joiners? Ours though has a profiled clad end to lock into the joiner (if you remember the shots), so I’m guessing that’s the difference/ or mums would be ok too?

    The other issue I was worried sick about was the vinyl flooring which I pulled up without realising it could be asbestos… Since then I have had the tar which was between the vinyl and cypress tested and it came up ok… I also found some vinyl left in a cupboard,,, peeled some back and it’s rubbery/ plasticy from top face to under side…. After doing some research I’ve managed to find out that asbestos in vinyl sheet flooring is almost always existent as a 1mm thick paper type form as an underlay between the vinyl and floor or attached to the underside of the vinyl/ tile, does this sound about right??

    In regards to reinhabiting and cleaning up after the tradesman has removed a small sheet in a rough manner in our kitchen, a friend of mine said if no one is in the house at the time of renovations and then 7 days later we re-enter after airing the house out for a few hours- there is an extremely low risk… His theory was that the dangerous airborne fibres are so light they would have already made there way out windows etc and decided where they want to go, thus the risk would have been at time of cutting up to 24 hours after..so his theory was that our simple wet wipe of visible floor dust behind an oven would be of almost no risk and I need not worry.. What’s your take on this one?

  402. Jason Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    just for the benefit of viewers of this great website, I meant to ask, is it true that the sound heard by knocking on wall sheeting material can help determine whether it is of asbestos cement or pinewood or plaster, etc? The a/c walls in my bathroom in my 1979 BV property for instance. When I knock on any asbestos cement wall in the bathroom, the knock sounds like a rocky type knock, in that if you carefully analyse it, you can tell that your knocking in to a wall with the sound of some rock behind the wall. Then when i knock on a plaster or pinewood wall, it sounds more like a simple hollow knock, definitely distinctly different knocking sound to knocking on an asbestos cement wall. Have you found this, and should readers perhaps use this as some sort of indication to assist them even if small? I know we shouldn’t rely on this, but perhaps some readers or yourself could try this (just for fun) and see if you get the same distinction that I did. I then accessed another property, a 1970s built BV my friend’s place where the bathroom asbestos sheeting was removed and replaced with asbestos free wall sheeting. Again, it sounds like definitely more of a hollow knock.

  403. Daniel B Says:

    Gday Jeff,

    From what i have heard and what i have encountered,,, fibro cement walls in comparison to plaster will sound quite different…..

    With a 20cent coin if you tap on plasterboard it will present a deeper sound due to its dense powdery nature… Whereas if you do the same onto fibro cement it will present a “tinny” more high pitched sound due to the fact it is so compressed…. Alternatively, i have read that a simple compass needle can be used to determine if a wall is plasterboard or cement… By pushing the needle into the wall apparently it will make its way into plasterboard quite easily, whereas cement wall it would be very difficult… Interested to see what others opinions are of this?

  404. Daniel B Says:

    THe other thing i should mention that if it is a smaller sheet, it will naturally sound more high pitch then a larger sheet.- so this confuses the fact……

    Not sure, but there must be a quick way that electricians and plumbers can determine if they are about to smash up some plaster as oppose to cement board aside from removing a powerpoint and checking how the edge looks…

  405. Jason Says:

    What about a reality TV show that follows an asbestos removalist company say around Sydney, ones that particularly work on residential dwellings? It would seem like a relatively simple way to make people more aware, create more work for asbestos removalists, avoid more more smashing it to smithereens without protection as they’ll see shows with moonsuit blokes removing it, and the TV show producers would make some money from (one would think) of selling the product worldwide. We now have reality shows coming out of the United States for things such as car repossessions, parking inspectors and rangers, auctions and treasure hunters, why not asbestos removalists? Each client would be different as would each site, surely it would be worth a shot? I bags holding the camera.. (hahah).

  406. Daniel B Says:

    I agree Jason,, would make for interesting viewing but would also unecessarily worry and remind alot of people that have been inadvertently exposed in the past…

    I agree that asbestos is deadly and that it only takes one fibre but i also beleive that for those people who have had one or two accidental exposures that they need not worry…..

    I personally have had a number of minor accidental exposures and have come quick to realise that an internet search for reasurance will result in worrying and sleepless nights about what the future holds- the internet is rampant with negative stories, law firms, testing companies etc- so i encourage people who are worried to avoid…. What makes the worrying worse is that you just dont know if you have inhaled fibres because there is no test to confirm this- wish i personally could go and have a scan and be told everything will be ok- i would just like to know for sure..- so in the meantime i need to wait 20-30 years down the track and even then some…

    What i do beleive though is that from 2-3 minor exposures- (i.e drilling a couple of holes to install a bathroom rail or cutting out an exhaust vent into an eve)that the chances of becoming ill in the future is increadibly rare…

    THe reason why i beleive this is as follows:
    Expected deaths from asbestos exposure are expected to peak to 700 people per year between 2015 and 2020…- the current rates are around 500-600… Out of these numbers 1 out of 25 has been from non occupational exposure with the rest from a partner (wife) of an occupationally exposed person or someone who is occupationally exposed… That means that approx 30 max people a year will become ill from non occupational exposure…. When you take into consideration the whole population of Australia thats quite a small number… There would have to be as many fatal car accidents then that number- so driving a car would be as dangerous as 2 or 3 mistake exposures…

    The other thing to realise is that in the 50s to 70s almost EVERY single house would have it in construction… That means that at some stage pretty much every person who is now aged 60 to 90 would have been exposed at least once.. Either cleaning up after their backyard shed was built or building the shed,,, or having bathroom renovations or even powerpoints installed and cleaning up following any tradie who has paid a visit….

    Not to say that the stuff is not deadly.. And i think anyone who is working with it should take precautions,,, just like wearing a seatbelt in a car- the chances are that you wont have an accident but wear it just encase…. I just hate seeing people worried sick about something that most likely wont happen…

    The reason why i am writing this is because i actually feel sorry for those who have had a one off exposure like myself and are now worried sick like i was (until i have investigated the actual facts and figures)… I just feel that with the chances being so minimal that these people need not worry.. In fact they should worry more about driving for the remainder of their life because they would have more chance of dying in a fatal car accident..

    People should wear safety equipment and i do beleive do it yourself shows should make people more aware…- But for those who have been exposed a couple of times- you need not worry.. In fact most tradies who worked with it every day are now not affected by it….

    Im going to get smashed now you watch….

  407. Jeff Says:

    Hi David, thanks for finding the website and reading. The fibres you see are most likely either sisal or horse hair. Sisal has been used in plaster products for ages and is a natural product, white in colour and is also used to make ropes. It holds the plaster together and gives it some strength. I have heard some reports of asbestos being used in plaster products in Asia, but not sure in the USA. If you’re really keen you can get a sample tested for asbestos. Modern plasterboard (dry wall sheets I guess you call it) has fibreglass reinforcement.

    Another thing to watch for is lead in old plaster walls. This is due to old paint containing lead and being absorbed into the plaster. I’d put bets on lead being the main health issue with old plaster walls. Sand with caution.

    Jeff.

  408. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Your mum’s place is likely to be clad in the asbestos version of HardiPlank. It’s a carry over product with same tradename. Just checked my mid 70′s Hardies catalogue (obviously a good seller for Hardies ;-) ). Yes, has minor differences to the profile.

    Vinyl flooring, including vinyl tiles, lino and underlay can all contain asbestos. It’s not always easy to identify…if you’re lucky you might be able to spot some of the fibre bundles poking out, a little like the AC sheeting does. Age is a clue here, beware of older vinyl flooring and underlay. Don’t polish it.

    As for the dust left by the tradesman, its difficult to guage. I’m guessing, it was a small sheet and depends how it was cut. If it was cut with an angle grinder then lots of dust, but if was drilled with say a hole saw,, then less dust. Asbestos, like any dust tends to settle. Any asbestos cleanup will include wiping down surfaces where asbestos dust may have fallen and settled, so if you’ve wet wiped the floor, then it’s likely you’ve cleaned up most of the dust anyway and reduced the risk considerably.

    Jeff.

  409. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    it’s worth a try giving it a tap, though I’ve noticed on my bathroom walls (top plasterboard, bottom tilux) they sound exactly the same. Kitchen the same also.

    I’ve found the best test method is to use a pointy object eg. knife, scissors, compass. Stanley trimmer works great. The blade easily digs into the soft plasterboard but can’t touch the rock hard asbestos sheeting. Easy to tell which is which.

    It’s a good test prior to drilling into bathroom/laundy/kitchen walls.

    Jeff.

  410. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel, yup, plasterboard is really soft and asbestos sheeting is rock hard. So the needle method will work well also. Jeff.

  411. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel, sometimes electricians and plumbers do drill through asbestos sheeting.. it’s just how the job is sometimes. Fortunately, it can be done safely with the right methods (yes!). Jeff.

  412. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, thats a good idea. We can do a pilot program and release it on Youtube. Interestingly, if we have enough hits on youtube can make money also. Get your camera and let$ go. I wonder if Grant Bowler is available for voice over work?

    Jeff.

  413. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel, I remember my father trimming our asbestos Super Six fence in the 1970′s with an angle grinder(!) with no mask and he also smoked. My father is now 80years old, alive and has no sign of lung disease… but counterpoint.. we also hear stories of similar, and persons or persons nearby contracting mesothelioma.

    So what gives?

    Similar with smoking, why does a 90 year old smoker live to that age but another person eg. 50years old, smoke then contract lung cancer and die.

    The reason is, every human body is different. Some are more susceptible or prone to a disease, whilst others are more resistant. So this can explain differences in mortality rates. Human bodies are not made equal. Hence, this brings up many issues of setting dust level standards, should we protect just some people,, or should we try to protect all people.

    Also, beware of research funded by asbestos companies to prove asbestos is not as deadly as it seems. Sadly, many large multinational companies fund research like this to suggest their products are not as bad as people are saying…or to challenge independent research (this is an age old tactic used by lots of companies eg chemical, medical companies etc) it creates doubt in the mind of many people. Scientific reports carry more weight than opinion.. so it looks very good. You have to remember many large companies will fight tooth and nail to protect their profits…and do not care if people die.

    It’s a good question anyway :-)

    Jeff.

  414. Daniel Says:

    Cheers Jeff, thanks for the responses,

    I guess what i was getting at is that many people panick and worry sick when finding out that the wall they just drilled into was asbestos (after the fact)- whilst there is a risk- these people need to know it is very unlikely they will become ill and they need not worry.- but next time take proper precautions.

    I beleive that most people, particularly those born before 80s (not knowing at the time) have had at least one minor exposure with asbestos… i.e sweeping up after a tradesman or even unknowingly vacuuming up a small area of dust after a tradie has drilled two holes in a wall like me! ! (thankfully our dyson has a hepa filter so it wouldnt have thrown the dust up in the air- the problem would have been more so when i emptied it – ive since thrown out a “brand new” vacuum for peace of mind- massive waste and now the wife wants to kill me, but nonetheless what price do i put on our life)!

    Your also right about sometimes tradies just dont have any other choice but to drill into it to create a small hole for a vent or screw…. It would seem that for some jobs it would be impractical and over the top to remove a whole sheet to simply create a small hole to put some ducting through…. I know one tradie we had drilled a number of holes but in doing so continually sprayed water on the area to prevent creation of dust…

    Anyways, my point being, that i believe most people have had a couple of “one-off” exposures at some stage in their lives. I dont think your dads “super 6″ fencing experience would be rare. And besides, imagine all the people using edgers year after year up against super 6 fencing. I know my father and auncles all built sheds with a circular saw and ac sheeting… talk to any Aussie bloke over 60 and they would have at least one story of exposure (they also have different attitudes about how it is only deadly for those in the mines etc which can be quite interesting).

    OK OFF TOPIC:
    With our vinyl sheet flooring still protruding from the architraves i have since carefully peeled out a few samples..- there is no underlay (just vinyl sitting on floorboards) which is promising and the vinyl material appears to be plasticy/ rubbery all the way through with no paperish base.. So im going to trust my own judgement on this one as i think the chances are it would be ok….. From my reasearch it seems that asbestos if in vinyl flooring/ tiles is either as cement underlay, or paper backing on the underside of vinyl….

    I agree with your comment about multinational companies- asbsolutely terrible…- where there is a possibility for big profits they dont give a rats about those affected… if one of my family worked for them and became ill i would be ropeable….

    thanks for a great site..

  415. Bill White Says:

    My adult daughter recently moved to work in Armidale NSW & rented an old house. When we visited her & saw the condition of the premises I noticed a lot of cracked fibro inside & outside. A lot of the fibro seems to have been used to enclose verandahs & make more rooms inside (to cram in more Uni students?). When questioned, the Real Estate Agent representing the Landlord said that blue chip(?) fibro never went & was not used in building, north of Newcastle. Is this correct?

  416. Daniel b Says:

    Hey bill,

    We have a few settlement cracks in our laundry walls, and behind cupboards… I wouldn’t be too worried… In our case I applied a thin film of silicon over the top and disposed if a few shards resting at bottom of our cupboards…I didn’t wear a mask but I would recommend wearing one… Blue asbestos can be anywhere in Australia mate.. Mainly an issue if ur grinding or machining it.. Residual dust after settlement can be wet wiped up but wouldn’t be a major hazard at this point as the light airborne stuff would have already made its way into the cosmos out windows etc… If ur daughter wants to “seal the deal” then maybe seal the cracks too

  417. Daniel b Says:

    Make sure your daughter wet wipes and mops first before vacuuming too bill…

  418. Daniel b Says:

    the other thing i was going to say is that pva glue spray works well… I mix pva in a bottle with water and spray cracks around the shed and in the laundry- seals quite well and also will encapsulate any residual dust…

    Best of luck..

  419. Jason Says:

    G’day, we’re looking to remove the 30 year old carpet and replace it with timber flooring, one guy chap came over today to provide a quote, big difference in price between laminate flooring versus bamboo. Anyways, my mother asked “does the laminate flooring contain asbestos and where is it made”? He responded, “China”, then said “it’s laminate but i don’t know what’s mixed in it”! This is incredible, so many products from China with the threat of asbestos, I wish our government would have the balls to cease all trade with them as these risks seem to be increase as we’ve seen it in a number of products from there, the Great Wall + Chery cars, plaster that was marked 100% asbestos free was tested in Victoria and found to contain asbestos, children’s toy cars from China imported here also contained it, what next?? This link is one from 2010 where asbestos was found in some wall tiles imported from China. http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/warning-issued-over-asbestos-wall-tiles-20100213-ny7h.html
    Jeff, haven’t received a response yet from the ACCC or Customs about the Demac impact torque wrench.. good idea about filming asbestos removal in progress, I’ll take a no at this time just dont have the time but if anyone wants to venture on that, me thinks could eventually lead to a lucrative new Aussie made reality show.

  420. Jason Says:

    For the record, we told the salesman we’d like bamboo flooring, it’s at least $1500 price difference, me hopes the bamboo flooring won’t contain asbestos or less chance of that.

  421. Jason Says:

    G;day all, I’ve a new idea for a Hollywood movie, let’s call it “China’s Secret War”, and how they plan to infect the world through their secret mixing of asbestos in products that they export!

  422. Christine Says:

    Hi Jeff. We moved into a fibro house about 40 yrs ago. It was originally a holiday house but it became our full time residence. It is fibro walls inside and out and cielings and even roof I think. I can remember lying in bed and and wiping the walls with my fingers and all white chalky stuff would come off – obviously not painted or sealed. My mum still lives there and now time to think about elderly accommodation. What I am worried about is how the asbestos will affect property value and how would I go about getting a quote (as it would almost certainly all have to be removed. Problem is it is on Fraser Is so I imagine that disposal costs be astronomical. Is it legal to sell and all fibro house and would anyone buy it? We have never had any asbestos related problems …yet. Thanks.

  423. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks again for the link to imported Chinese tiles containing asbestos. Any home renovators should avoid these ‘Snow White’ brand tiles like the plague. Let’s hope Customs & Border protection put a swift end to importation of these tiles. Chinese manufacturers will have to learn that the standards in Australia for these products need to be higher if they want continue selling their stuff here.

    Certainly, this is the new wave of asbestos danger coming into Australia now.

    Jeff.

  424. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, The asbestos mafia won’t be happy with that. God help us if we have to worry about modern building products contaning asbestos. After all the laws that have been passed, regulations, warnings, court cases and tax dollars spent by state and federal governments cleaning up asbestos in this country, I hope it was not in vain.

    Jeff

  425. Jeff Says:

    Hi Christine,

    The asbestos sheeting should be quite safe provided it’s not broken up, drilled or cut which can release asbestos fibres into the air. Roofing might be a bit weathered and starting to release loose fibres perhaps. Yes disposal costs would be (a lot) higher I’d expect on Fraser Island and local environmental regulations may need to be considered before doing an asbestos removal job there. The sheeting may need to be ferried back to mainland, rather than local disposal. (extra cost)

    Sale of the property I suspect is not a problem, provided the asbestos has been disclosed to the buyer, though it’s pretty obvious what it’s made from. Check with your local council for more detailed info on this. I’m sure some-one would buy it despite constructed with asbestos fibro, you might want to check your local real estate agent(s) or property valuer to get some idea what it would sell for.

    Jeff.

  426. Daniel b Says:

    Hey Jeff,,, One other quick question,,,, i have noticed that the house two doors away (10meters away from my place) has asbestos corrugated roofing (40 years old- thick cement)… We like to leave windows and doors open for fresh air at all times… Im not sure of the condition of the roofing – it does appear mottled and there are some breaks in corners etc….. Do you think this has and continues to pose an immediate risk to my family or do you think the amount released from weathering etc would be minimal???

    One other question out of curiosity,, our shed is comprised of asbestos sheets i think– it has the timber battens covering the joints outside but doesnt have the “golf ball” type pattern on the back (inside the shed).. The development app for the shed occured in 1963.. Do you think that the shed was relined at some point with a newer ac fibro based on the non golf ball style backing? I guess its no threat anyways as its in reasonable condition and i dont plan on drilling it anytime soon…

  427. Daniel b Says:

    Another quick question Jeff,

    I notice that alot of people are concerned about paint not being present on ac sheeting surfaces… Is this a real concern for worry? reason why i ask this question is because i know that 1/4 of australian houses still have and are using sheds and garages with ac sheeting from the 60s and 70s (like myself) with paint on the outside. Furthermore, then theres the fences that still exist and were once commonplace.. Ive never seen a shed with paint or pva glue on the inside (dont think it would bind well anyways) ..

    Would it be fair to say that with cement sheet sheds and roofs that the asbestos is pretty much bound up in amongst the cement if in reasonable condition? and as a result even with slow deterioration over time it would be difficult to produce significant asbestos in its deadliest form (small individual fibres)…. Im not sure myself,, so instead of vacuuming our shed or sweeping i actually hose all the leaves etc out… interested on your opinion..

  428. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel, Asbestos roof sheeting is apparently considered safe when left untouched. I do suspect the occasional fibre(s) is released depending on the amount of weathering and probably there is some accumulation of fibres in the guttering and near down pipes. A project for Environment Health students here (hint hint). Very old roof sheeting does eventually show signs of weathering otherwise AC is a pretty stable material. There were some photos of this weathered sheeting on Builder Bills website… unfortunately, his website looks to be down.

    With your open window, it depends on the prevailing wind and (weather) and whether or not the fibres goes through your window, and if you breath it in. I’d categorize this as low risk.

    With your shed, I’d say the condition of sheeting on the inside is as good as the day it was installed. AC sheeting is a very stable product, with fibres locked into the asbestos-cement matrix, very few, if any of the fibres at all are released when left alone. Cleaning out your shed is ok with the hose, ironically high pressure water sprays can actually dislodge the fibres and as such high pressure water spraying of AC sheeting is generally banned in most states of Australia. But I guess you’re spraying the floor not the walls.

    Have you counted the number of corrugations on the sheetings? It could be standard corrugated AC or Super Six. (Or Wunderlich equivalent)

    Jeff.

  429. Daniel b Says:

    Hey jeff, cheers thanks for the info… Funnily enough I accidentally let go of the hose at full pelt and it did hose up the sheets till I caught the bugger… I figure when they say “high pressure” hosing it is more extended to those with a gourney intending to water blast roofs and the like to create a clean surface… In my case it was five seconds of a hose which when held up against my hand wouldn’t cause any pain unlike a gourney… Safe to say this was ok?

  430. Daniel b Says:

    As far as the neighbours roof goes I figure it wouldn’t be releasing large amounts if any so I’m not too worried… I’m not sure what brand it is but it was put up 40 years ago so its definitely the lovely asbestos australian icon type… Lol

  431. Jeff Says:

    That’s right. And if large amounts of asbestos *were* being lost, then there would be no roof left. AC sheeting is a stable product if left alone.

    Jeff.

  432. Warren Says:

    Have just removed tiles from my front porch. The tiles had started to crack and come away and we could see what looked like asbestos underneath. Our house was built in the 50′s but has had rooms added over the years by the previous owners, not sure when the porch was done. Anyway, the tiles were a bugger to get up and I found it difficult not to break the sheeting (I was wearing protective gear) but I eventually managed to get 2 large sheets up intact. On the back of the sheeting was stamped Hardiflex Type a cat2 as 2908.2 with what I assume is a batch number that ended in 97. 2908.2 is the A/NZ standard for cellulose cement products so am I correct i assuming asbestos is not present. Any ideas on how this sheeting should be disposed of ?

  433. Jeff Says:

    Hi Warren, sounds like cellulose based Hardiflex to me. Laying down sheeting like this prior to tiling is a techinque used by tilers when working on uneven surfaces. Often this same technique is used on wooden floors for laundries, bathrooms and kitchens using a special wet area sheeting. (otherwise the tiles start to lift up due to movement). So looks the same technique has been used on your front porch using Hardiflex.

    Jeff.

  434. Craig Hergenhan Says:

    Does Brown board have asbestos in it?

  435. Jeff Says:

    Hi Craig, you might be thinking of something like Masonite, which doesn’t contain asbestos.

    Jeff.

  436. Warren Says:

    Thanks Jeff

    Have since moved on to the bathroom which I was convinced had asbestos sheeting. Got a local salvage company around to get a quote for removal. I was told given the design of the joiners and the fact that what exposed board we could see didn’t “snap” when broken it was probably modern hardiflex and I should save myself some cash and remove it myself which I did. Back of the board was stamped “manufactured without asbestos” and was manufactured in 1986. Makes me think there is less asbestos in the house than I thought. The hardiflex in the bathroom was definitionally a different “texture” than the hardiflex on the front porch so I can see how difficult it is to differentiate between asbestos sheeting and modern sheeting.

    Just a question about the joiners. All the main rooms in the house have no joiners. When asbestos sheeting was used, were joiners always used ? How common was the use of asbestos sheeting for interior walls ?

  437. Rails Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I live in a 1940′s/50′s commission home, which has brick-like cladding. I have noticed on one particular wall the textured brick is falling off. Is this asbestos or is the backing wall just asbestos? I don’t know how long the cladding has been there, we bought the house 14 years ago already clad.

    Love your website.

    Cheers.

  438. Jeff Says:

    Hi Warren, good to hear you got it sorted. Certainly helps when you see the ‘manufactured without asbestos’ stamp on the back. Makes identification easy.

    Jeff.

  439. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rails, The imitation brick wall sheeting certainly does contain asbestos. Specifically, the backing is manufactured from asbestos cement sheeting …but I don’t think the top coating (ie the brick and mortar effect component) contains asbestos.

    The usual safety precautions will need to be taken if drilling or removing it during a renovation for example, otherwise left alone, it’s pretty safe.

    Jeff.

  440. Daniel b Says:

    Gday Jeff, another question. lol

    WHen i was 10, mum asked me to remove our barbeque area doors.. Unfortunately i removed the doors but also smashed a few sections of the countertop at the same time……. The countertop appears to be small square tiles (25x25mm) in a brown colour and underneath the tiles there appears to be a smooth surface cement sheet (on the underside)….
    The house was built about 1978…
    What are the chances that i smashed away at asbestos do you think?

    Im not overly worried as it was out in the open air and it would have been only two hits with no machinery- ie just a hammer.. however im still curious…

  441. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel, sounds like your exposure was pretty minimal if this all you did, and you’d have to be unlucky to contract an asbestos disease over this.

    Many kids did similar things with asbestos in the 1970′s(and a whole lot worse than this). My favourite was to put asbestos on the fire and let it explode!

    Like-wise many home mechanics unwittingly exposed themselves to asbestos in brake and clutch dust also.

    Do they contract asbestos disease? I’m guessing some do and some don’t. A lot of factors to take into account, such as exposure period and also the type of asbestos involved (Blue, white and brown).

    What can we do? We can’t turn back time.. but we can learn from our mistakes and now we know not to smash up asbestos etc but to handle it with safety precautions. At the same time we should not be paranoid about asbestos either.

    Jeff.

  442. Frank Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I have noticed that i have straw in my plaster walls in my bedroom and i was wondering could there be asbestos in it as well?

    Thanks Frank

  443. Butch Cassidy Says:

    G’day Jeff,
    just a quick question about carpet underlays and asbestos. I have a brick property with timber frame + concrete slab built in 1978 in the Outer Western Suburbs of Sydney. I’ve decided to rip up the original carpet from 1978 and tile internally throughout. When i was at work my dad was at home outside while the tile layer guy, a fairly young bloke, removed the carpeting. My dad later explained that he observed the young bloke coughing quite a bit when he lifted the old carpet up from the concrete slab. He reckons it wasn’t coughing with blood but that he was “coughing that much” from the dust, that he came outside and asked my dad if he could have a glass of water, course he could, and dad reckons after he had the glass of water he stopped coughing. Could this be cough as a result of exposure to asbestos in the underlay, or do you think unlikely? If unlikely, then would it be normal for him to be coughing that much with ordinary dust?I haven’t moved back in to the place as we’re living elsewhere and it’s empty while we organise the tiles, etc. If there’ any carpet layers here, do you know if it’s ordinary to cough that much that you need water to stop, whilst lifting very old carpet from concrete slabs? The original carpet is from 1978 which is when the property was constructed. Any help much appreciated as concerned about it. By the way, the young bloke didnt wear any mask either, my father said he told him “dont you need a mask?” to which he replied “Nah!”

  444. Jeff Says:

    Hi Frank, it’s probably unlikely. Asbestos was not used in plaster walls as far as I know (at least in Australia).

    Jeff.

  445. Jeff Says:

    Hi Butch, I reckon cause of his coughing was the very fine dust in the underlay or possibly even an allergic reaction to dust mites or a fungus / mould / spores.

    By 1978, I think the reuse of hessian bags into carpet underlay had been stopped, so it’s unlikely the carpet underlay would contain any asbestos.

    Any dust is not good, so a dust mask would be a good idea to don prior a carpet ripping up exercise.

    Jeff.

  446. Emma Says:

    Oh how I wish I’d read found this blog earlier. We had a carpenter cut through a wall from our dining room into our kitchen prior to a kitchen reno in our post war house. Was told not to worry as it was masonite. When the cabinets from the old kitchen were removed, we found that the kitchen wall side was definitely fibro – shiny looking sheeting. The dining room side left brown, wood looking shavings so I am hoping it was masonite. I am absolutely kicking myself for not getting it all checked out properly by a professional before undertaking the work and I feel absolutely horrified and completely stressed out that we have exposed our toddler children to such a risk. Not a day will go by from here on it without me worrying about the implications. Thank you for providing such a great and informative site.
    Emma

  447. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff.

    Do you think internal brick walls of the house built in 1986 that cover with white plaster contain asbestos in the plaster?

    I noticed some wet areas in my house, the outside paint peeled off and I can see the white plaster inside.

    and also are there any chances that the ceiling contain asbestos as well?

    Thanks

    Mark

  448. Jeff Says:

    Hi Emma, sorry hear about this worry. The brown shavings certainly don’t sound like asbestos, and are most likely the masonite you mentioned… which is wood based (so no problem). The shiny sheeting if is was fibro could be Tilux (asbestos based sheeting more often used in bathrooms, laundries, toilets). You need to investigate what was materials were cut in the process to confirm if any asbestos sheeting was cut or not and then take it from there.

    Jeff.

  449. Emma Says:

    Thanks Jeff. I guess that one wall was not fibro is a little consolation. The kitchen installion has also involved drilling into now suspect walls. I guess what’s done is done but I will get the walls tested anyway.
    Thanks again. Emma

  450. Jayson Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    First of all, thanks, for such an informative site,, Yes i am a hypercondriac and i am worried sick…

    I am writing over four concerns i have with asbestos in my 60s house- Yes four! sorry in advance for the length of this post lol… The first two, i feel are as a result of my hypercondria but i guess im after some confirmation of this. The last ones i am not so sure,,,,

    My laundry (from 60s) is comprised of asbestos fibro sheeting with the typical timber cover strips. It appears that somewhere along the line (70s i think) that the owners renovated and put in a laundry sink- which is screwed to the wall…- i thought it wouldnt be a bad idea to apply silicon between the fibro sheets where the timber stud can be seen. Whilst applying the silicon,two small pieces of fibro (approx 1cm by 1cm) became loose due to previous cracks around the screws. Whilst applying the silicon i had no mask on- i didnt think i would need one – I placed them into a sealed container.- should i be worried? or am i being a hypercondriac over this one?

    The second, involved the following: the bathroom although in a 60s house has been renovated in the early to mid 90′s ( I can tell by the removable door hinges and QA date on the toilet 1993). The towel holder, toilet roll holder and a few other fixtures had become loose in their design and needed tightening. To tighten them they had to be removed from the brackets on the wall.- my concern is that there could have been dust residue behind the cover plates that i was tightening.. I know the walls are cement sheeting by the sound they make when i tap them, but im hoping that when the bathroom and toilet was completely renovated in the 90s they replaced the wall linings too. I guess if it was ac it would only be minimal exposure- no more than changing a washer from a tap in a shower recess. Whats your opinion?

    Ok, heres the third- on three occassions that i been gardening around the house i have come across some little shards of fibro, size of 50 cent coins. Makes me not want to do any more gardening!!. each time i place them into a series of sealed zip tight bags//should i be worried and stop gardening? i have been told not to worry as i am not machining or breaking them up further.. Whats your opinion on this one?

    And the fourth.. We recently had a plumber install an external vent hole in our fibro cladding. He cut a 160mm hole by a series of smaller drill holes near our back door. When i asked about safety precautions he advised that he did this in a “wet state” with a spray bottle so that the fibro would not produce any dust. is this a common/ trusted procedure? He said it would be impracticle to remove a whole sheet for the one hole which makes sense…. During the work we were away on holidays and didnt go back till 2 days later- a week later i hosed the back area.. I kind of think his method as described would present minimal risk, but interested to hear if this method is ok?
    Im hoping that the fine dust would have mostly blown away during and after the drilling process (we didnt occupy the house till 2 days later).. Im not sure of the age of the cladding, it has plastic joiners between strips and some nail heads appear to be pushed right into the cladding as if it is a softer cement material- is this typical of cellulose? it also has aluminium corner joiners and pvc rectangular downpipes – not sure when they came in?

    Look forward to hearing back from you Jeff,,

    Cheers,

    Jayson

  451. Jason K Says:

    G’day Jeff, just posting an update. Have just received a response from the “Product Safety” division of the ACCC, re: that suspect impact wrench selling for cheap as chips on Ebay (that contained the strange warning about damage to lungs if an effective dust mask not worn), etc, and made in China. ACCC have acquired the item, tested it, and haven’t found any asbestos in the heat insulation material inside. I’m glad it has been tested, after all as you said, we pay our taxes so they can test such out for us in the name of safety in products imported here. If you do a read of how many asbestos stockpiles China has at present, and that they are our number 1 trading partner, it does make you think which products from China are already here (if any) and contain asbestos in some shape or form that is yet to be discovered..! Jase.

  452. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jayson,

    Thanks for reading. Answers to your questions:

    1. Asbestos cement sheeting often cracks around screw or nail holes and generally the fracture process happens over a long period. The risk factor is quite low I suggest as you disposed of the broken piece quickly and didn’t break up any AC sheeting. Ideally, the broken edge on the main sheet should be sealed up also with paint, sealer or PVA solution (you may have done this with silastic which will act as a sealer). If you can identify any other cracks around other screws, would be a good idea to seal them over before they break off.

    2. A good procedure is assume it is asbestos sheeting and treat it as such. It’s no big deal work safely and keep dust to an absolute minimum. Best way is to put down a plastic drop sheet under the job to catch any broken pieces or dust if it falls out. Use some gaffa tape to stick it to the wall or floor (so dust doesn’t go under the drop sheet). I’d also recommend wearing a P2 dust mask whilst doing this to be sure. Wet down the area near the screws with a water sprayer or even better use shaving foam. If the screws just need tightening up, then it’s an easy job. Perhaps spray a PVA / water solution behind the bracket if you can get to it prior to tightening, this will seal any loose dust if the braken comes loose again. If screws need replacing, try using a slightly larger screw size, this way you can avoid drilling new holes. Seal around the bracket with No More Gaps or similar to stop any dust coming out. Cleanup: Wipe around the work area with damp cloth and dispose of it, drop sheet: wrap up carefully and dispose of it safely also.

    3. Broken pieces of fibro are quite common and do not pose a danger unless they are subject to some abrasion, such as in drive way. In your garden, pick them up as you find them and bag them. Correct, you are not breaking them up further, so little danger in releasing more asbestos fibres. The AC sheeting is very stable unless broken up delibrately. You can continue gardening safely :-)

    4. 160mm hole through AC sheeting is quite large I thought. Certainly would be quite a few holes to drill around to make the circle then knock it out, hence much drilling and potential release of asbestos. I would have preferenced replacing the entire sheet with modern Hardiflex then start from there (if it’s not asbestos sheeting, then not a problem. Do identification first). This would be more time consuming and expensive of course but is the safest way to go. Drilling of holes though asbestos sheeting is best done with foam or gel as this catches the dust a lot better. Really, you want to catch ALL of the dust, and capture it so it may be disposed of safely. Using water keeps the dust down during drilling , but the asbestos fibres then end up on the ground below..and when the water dries, asbestos dust is free to blow around, which is then a hazard. Hopefully the sheeting in not asbestos, but not always easy to tell which is which.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff.

  453. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    That’s nice follow up work on the Chinese impact wrench. Glad to hear ACCC did an inspection and came back clear of asbestos. Makes me wonder that asbestos warning was meant to say the usual warning of being careful when working on and around brake parts as there may be asbestos present…but somehow this got mixed up in the translation.

    Certainly take care when buying Chinese manufactured goods of unknown quality.

    Jeff.

  454. Jason K Says:

    ACCC slammed over asbestos advice
    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3598514.htm

    Regards,
    Jase.

  455. Jayson Says:

    Hey jeff,, two other questions… Our bathroom was completely renovated and rearranged in 1994-1995… Was it commonplace during bathroom renos to replace the wall material during that time? Bathroom is cement sheeting but not like our laundry which has timber joiners…

    Also, we recently had an electrician cut out two 40mm diameter holes to connect a power cord to our oven… This was in fibro and subsequently left settled dust and a small piece of fibro behind the oven- we weren’t home at the time and got back to the house 3 days later… When found I pulled the oven out and then put a mask on and sprayed the area behind and under the oven with water in a spray bottle.. I then wet wiped with rags.. I threw the rags out, put all my clothes in the washing machine and had a thorough shower straight after.. Left the house and Didnt go back in till later that night.. Should I be worried about this?? I guess I’m worried because I didn’t wear the space suit and Instead i put my clothes in the was… I just wanted it clean on the spot and didn’t think at the time… I guess I figured that because it was only a 5min clean I wouldn’t need the suit.. The other thing is my wife was in the room next door, so I’m worried for her too..

  456. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jayson,

    Often bathroom reno’s involve doing something with the walls…either replacing them entirely or covering them over with paint or new tiles. It really depends on the budget of the renovator. If the walls where replaced in the 1994/5 period, then the new material would definately be a non asbestos product. However, be cautious of budget renovators who simply tile over existing asbestos sheeting (such as tilux). Whilst it is completely safe left as it is, it does present a possible danger to future builders and renovators. So be aware of this.

    40mm holes by electrician:

    First thing the electrician should have done is to confirm whether or not the fibro material is asbestos based or modern cellulose based Hardiflex. Not sure if this was done or not. Perhaps it was?

    If the material was cellulose based sheeting, then is no problem.

    If the material was asbestos based, then this is of concern, both to you and the electrician. When drilling such a hole in asbestos cement sheeting, the goal is to capture and contain much as the material as possible, either by use of a foam / gel or by using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. A good job would leave very little residue behind and virtually none after final cleanup…if not, then the job has not been done properly and any asbestos dust left behind can be considered hazardous to health.

    If the material was asbestos based, I’d be quite concerned about the drilling procedure and that you were left to do the cleanup. You should confirm the composition of the material that was drilled and take it from there.

    Jeff.

  457. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jase, thanks for the link and interesting reading.

    Certainly is unacceptable that a modern vehicle imported into Australia contains asbestos. This is the whole point of banning the importation of asbestos products in Australia..so that Aussies are not exposed to the stuff. The manufacture needs to be aware of these requirements regardless of its origins or purpose. Surely, a recall should be made on all of these vehicles and the regulators ought to be acting on this.

    Jeff.

  458. Elleni k Says:

    Hi jeff,

    I am writing because I’m worried about what I think is previous exposure to asbestos… Thought u may be able to enlighten me on whether I’m worrying too much…

    I used to own a 96 model lantra.. Unknowingly everytime i washed the car I would frequently remove the hubcaps so i could wash the brake dust from the front and also back with a wet soap sponge then hose off… My husband says not to worry at all as this wouldn’t be risky because I’m using water and he said that it’s most likely not asbestos and if it is, it’s a less hazardous type? I guess if this practice was deadly then everyone who polishes mag wheels would be at risk…

    Malso when I was about 14 years old in 1995 my casual job for two school terms (one afternoon a week) was to sweep, mop and gourney the floor of a local auto mechanic shop… I guess my total hours of work would have been between 20 and 30 hours.. The shop only had one worker (the owner) and business was super quiet- in fact he was never working on a car when I was there- would have been lucky to service 5 cars a week… My husband says once again that I’m being a hypercondriac,,, he said hat amount of exposure would have been lower than standing beside a set of sydney traffic lights.. he also said that most brakes after 1990 had no asbestos and had a lower risk type.. He said that mechanics blow the pads with a air hose to ean and that poses a risk but not sweeping a shop… Look forward to hearing back from you,- worried that hubby is telling me these things to stop the worry. here i am 15 years later worried sick, Is there a test I can have at the doctors to provide the all clear? Thanks

  459. Jason K Says:

    Hi Elleni, Jeff will reply to your posting, but I just wanted to comment about quoting your husband stating that after 1990, most brake components were not asbestos. Fact: many car makers were still using asbestos components in their clutch friction discs, their brake pads + brake shoes after 1990. Australia only banned it nationally in 2003, and in 2005, the Australian Motor vehicle Design Rules were amended to prohibit any asbestos components in motor vehicles imported or manufactured here. For the time I’ve been tinkering around vehicles, I haven’t been working on any that contain (or likely to contain) asbestos, and just wished to share some information with you that some car makers have shared with me. Mitsubishi Motors stopped using asbestos components in their vehicles in 1992 for the imported ones, thus 1993 and later, imported Mitsubishi into Oz from Japan were asbestos free. Toyota has advised that it’s 1995 and 1999, believe one is the locally manufactured, the other being the imported ones. Kia has written to me and advised that their year was 1997. Land Rover is 1995/1996. Unfortunately, I had never written to Hyundai as have never had a chance to work on their vehicles but as an estimate, I would say the 1996 fully imported Hyundai Lantra would have a good chance of the brake pads/shoes, the originals when the vehicle left the production line, containing asbestos. Another way to tell is with Gregory’s or Haynes car manuals, see if the book for the vehicle has asbestos warnings or not. For instance, the Gregory’s manual for the 1996-2004 Mitsubishi CE Lancer contains no warnings in the clutch or brake section about asbestos, being consistent with Mitsubishi’s advice to me that they ceased in 1992. I occasionally purchase some vehicle components from overseas, and last year i purchased a set of “Beck Arnley” brake shoes and pads from the USA.. The brake shoes had writing on the packaging “does not contain asbestos” as well as “made in the Usa”, fair enough. But the brake pads were a different story, the packaging on the brake pads read “WARNING – DO NOT BREATHE FIBROUS DUST”, together with “Made in China”! Note that the USA dont have a uniform national ban on asbestos (yet) like we enjoy here. I immediately put the pads, still in their original packaging, in a sealed lunch box and disposed of the lunch box. I contacted Beck Arnley but didn’t get much help from the managing director who appeared more interested in defending his product than the dangers of asbestos. In short, when asked plain simple, “does it contain asbestos”, he stated that it didn’t, and when i asked “then why does it state that it doesnt contain asbestos like the brake pads”, to which he stated “the law does not make it compulsory to print that”. I think the warning about “fibrous” dust may be the asbestos warning which they have placed on their to avoid liability if someone decides to sue at a later stage. Jase.

  460. Jason K Says:

    Hi Elleni, whilst not trying to alarm, you can go to your local family GP and explain your work history as it pertains to asbestos, then ask him for “an xray to test for asbestos” if he doesn’t already refer you for one. This will be a good way to settle your fears. Best regards, Jase.

  461. Elleni k Says:

    Thanks Jason, can’t say I feel any better from your post but st least u were honest.. Although I spoke to the gp and all they said that it would be highly unlikely from washing brake dust off wheels with a sponge/ rag and mr sheen that I would be at risk or my family from placing the rags in the wash afterwards?- i guess they are right otherwise everyone who has washed/ polished car wheels would be at risk?I also emailed a specialist about that exposure and also my cleaning the workshop job… They said that brake and dust would have contained chrysotile which is less potent for causation of asbestos diseases… Not to say its not dangerous but apparently very low risk- due to shape of fibres and apparently the chrysotile fibres can break down unlike other types??? They also said that most chrysotile fibres burn and change their structure when brakes are applied further reducing risk…They did say however that to a mechanic who blows air to clean brakes, that it may increase exposure to an unsafe level… Hope what I have been told is right.. I guess everything in life has a risk,, I would just like to think that my risk is like 1 in 10000 not 1 in 10,, of that makes sense?

  462. Jason K Says:

    Glad to know it has calmed your fears, though I would advise you ask the GP for “a lung Xray to test for asbestos”, when you expressly ask, they shouldn’t decline as you stated a plausible reason – if they decline, perhaps you need a new doctor? GP’s need to work with facts and figures not try and counsel the client or patient out of further testing or diagnosis. This will be the way to further calm your fears. There’s no greater satisfaction Eleni than knowing you’ve had that Xray and your GP explaining and showing it to you that there’s no asbestos there. There is risk with everything but with mesothelioma or asbestos or other illness/es that may come about from exposure, when detected early, there’s surgery and options possible in this day and age which can do great wonders, options that wouldn’t have been available to us 20 years ago for instance. It’s not about worrying or scaring you, it’s about your peace of mind knowing through proven fact (the X Ray) that you don’t have any in your lungs. Cheers.

  463. Elleni k Says:

    Thanks Jason, I agree, but apparently x rays don’t show the presence of fibres, they only show damage that fibres have caused which apparently takes many years after exposure to occur…. So even if fibres were present I don’t think much would show..

  464. Jason K Says:

    True,in any case, I went to my doc a few years ago, he’s been my doc for 15 years, and explained that I resided in a dwelling with asbestos from 1989 till 1999, i dont recall that mum and dad carried out any works to disturb any asbestos then (*thank god*) but nonetheless, as soon as I mentioned that, he sent me off for a lung XRay, and when the results came through, he congratulated me for having very strong healthy lungs! I guess some of the other things that influenced me to request a lungs xray was that as a child, in 1997 when I had been 17, my left lung suddenly collapsed, and in 1999, it happened to the other one – a pneumothorax on both occasions, i’m even a non smoker and still.! Doc explained that it tends to happen more to taller thinner males such as myself, since 1999, hasn’t returned.. Actually 97 was a close one that will never forget, was on the train home from Central just, it was May, just past Blacktown, I thought I had a cold, gradually my breath was getting shorter and shorter, i brushed it off thinking it was a cold… to the point where if I didnt get medical attention, I would have been out of breath 100%..! A good Samaritan who are householders on Beames Avenue, Mt Druitt, back then, were most kind to contact 000, that was in May 1997. Jase.

  465. John Says:

    Hi jeff,

    Im freaking out because i beleive that about two weeks ago i was exposed to asbestos. When at a friends house we had an urn fire in the backyard to keep warm….. The timber we used was hardwood, but one piece was previously attached/ screwed to the fibre on a shed built in 1980 (i know its asbestos because it has a warning sticker advising only to cut in the open with hand tools etc).. The piece of timber had two approx 4mm diameter holes in it where it was screwed into the shed with self cutting screws (hexagon head type).

    I was inside when the timber was thrown into the fire- 2 minutes later i walked outside to tell the others to come inside and was told “im being ridiculous”…. Nonetheless i was oustide for 20 seconds in which i held my breath, grabbed my gear shut the doors and went back in the house.

    My theory is that when the timber was screwed into the shed that residue would have remained in the holes within the timber… I have two sides of thinking about this. The positive side of me says:
    - It was only two holes- so even if there was asbestos dust it would have been very minimal.
    - I was only outside for 20 seconds- not enough to qualify even for small exposure.
    BUT my paranoid mind believes:
    As soon as the timber hits the flames, the fibres inside the timber would go up in the smoke, circulating and landing on everything.
    The heat would cause the fibres to break down into smaller sizes further creating a hazard.
    Although only two holes, this produces a sufficient amount of dust to contaminate the small area.

    1) Two weeks later im still worried for myself and the others.. Should i be worried? or is my exposure minimal and im just being paranoid?
    I would dare say they are not the first people to use timber from an asbestos shed as firewood.
    Would it be true to say that if the shed was built in 1980 that it would be most likely primarily Chrysotile or do you think it would also contain the more harmful amphibole fibres? The sticker on the back also says that the product “contains a small percentage of asbestos”—- would 80s fibro contain less asbestos than 75 fibro based on this sticker?

    Thanks,

    John S

  466. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ellen K,

    Jason’s advice is correct as he done some excellent research into asbestos in aussie passenger vehicles.

    As Jason points out you can’t really be certain that the brake pads on the Lantra contained asbestos or not. So you’re dealing with an unknown.

    I know from my personal experience of working on cars, in the 1990′s, brake pad, gaskets and clutch plates were available in asbestos variety. I recall seeing the asbestos warning labels on them (and even I purchased them). Certainly, whilst the original manufacturer may have ceased using asbestos in their components, many after market brake / clutch / gaskets available were manufactured containing asbestos…until 2003 when there was a national ban on all asbestos products.

    So could your 1996 Lantra have had asbestos brake pads?… yes it could. But *did* it have asbestos brake pads? That’s the real question you want to know. So…possibly.

    Chrysotile asbestos should be treated with caution as all asbestos should, and not be regarded as low risk. Fibre shape is different to other asbestiforms.

    Also take into account when you did the wash down, any brake dust will then contaminate the soil / concrete pavement and may be free the blow around.

    Overall your asbestos exposure would most likley be at a low level and probably not worth losing sleep over, but there is always some risk.

    With your casual job at the auto mechanic shop, it depends on a few factors such as:

    1. How many jobs involved brakes (and clutches)…I’m guessing this was just a general repair shop, not a specialist brake & clutch business. As such, the general background brake dust would be lower than a special brake & clutch shop.

    2. Safely procedures when brake jobs were done. This would play a factor when determining the residual brake dust around the workshop including the floor. Good work practises when working on brakes will mean lower background brake dust levels.

    I suggest that your exposure level to asbestos while sweeping the floor would be fairly low albeit there would be potential for inhalation of asbestos fibres. It’s probably unlikely you’d develop an asbestos desease from this alone… but this is something you can never be sure of.

    Diagnosis:

    Xrays yes, for when Mesotheloma is a little more advanced and shows up on xrays certainly.

    For the time being, consider heading off to the doctor for a blood test. It’s now possible to detect Mesothelioma biomarkers, which if detected in higher quantities may point to possible Mesothelioma disease.

    More about the blood test here:

    http://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/blood-test.php

    Always get a second opinion and possibly a third opinion on this matter as good a GP is sometimes hard to find. A referral to an asbestos diseases specialist is the way to go.

    Jeff.

  467. Jeff Says:

    Hi John,

    It’s an interesting question.

    I suspect there would be a tiny amounts of asbestos on the wood and in the holes from the original installation.

    The sticker as you suggest indicates this is late model asbestos AC sheeting, dating from late 1970′s to very early 1980′s.

    Sheeting like this would contain in the range of 5% – 10% Chrysotile asbestos (white) and this percentage was reduced as AC sheeting was phased out in the 1980′s and replaced by cellulose based materiel. You are correct, older AC sheeting does contain a greater percentage of asbestos.

    Wood fire:

    I suggest some asbestos fibres would be released and sent upwards and some fibres would remain in the ash.

    Fibres sent upwards will go with the prevaling wind and may end up on the roof, in the backyard, and in the neighbours.

    The risk to those around the fire would be quite low from asbestos fibres and I’d almost say the smoke and tars emitted by fire itself pose more of a carcinogenic risk than the asbestos would (typical of low temp combustion).

    The ash itself may also contain traces of asbestos, though in miniscule quantities.

    Overall, I wouldn’t freak out too much over this. The amount of asbestos is extremely low and risk of inhalation is also low… but I wouldn’t go burning any timber with large chunks of asbestos sheeting still attached either.

    Jeff.

  468. John Says:

    Thanks for the feedback jeff on the fire issue..

    I’m a lot less worried now… Since my post I checked and found that the shed was built in 1980 so yes I agree that it would be 5-10%chrysotile- not to say “no risk” but lower risk than if it was blue or brown with a higher percentage..

    Nonetheless should be treated with caution…

    Thanks for a great site…

  469. Ian Says:

    After seeing the bathroom renovation asbestos article on the front page of Saturday’s Canberra Times, 18 May 2013, I need some advice as I am extremely worried for my family after a possible similar asbestos exposure during our bathroom renovation last August.
    After the first day of the renovation, I noticed an asbestos warning label on the floor after the vanity had been removed by the builders. I brought this to the attention of the builders. They weren’t too concerned and had been throwing all their waste into the skip. The next day, having brought it to their attention, they wrapped all the remaining sheeting in black plastic and disposed separately. Cladding on all four walls was replaced in preparation for the new tiling. The floor was cut with a circular saw to enable it to be dropped and sloped for the shower waste. They also scraped the old tiles off the existing floor. I believe they used pneumatic tools to do this. While I saw a sticker on the floor, I have no idea whether the walls also contained asbestos. The house was built in 1983. The family in the newspaper article were evacuated, their belongings destroyed and their builders prosecuted. As our builders were not concerned, we took their word for it as professionals, and therefore were living in our house throughout the project. Can you advise how dangerous this could have been to us? I also plan on contacting Worksafe. I feel the builders have mislead us and should have known better.

  470. Ian Says:

    Further to my previous note, the house was built in 1981 not 1983.

  471. Daniel Says:

    Gday Ian,

    I am no expert and just going off advice from others and my own common sense… but:

    I personally have worried myself sick about past asbestos exposures although overcome it now… (In fact i probably caused myself more harm from worrying and anxiety than the actual exposures)…..

    Since worrying myself sick i have flicked past the litigation websites and sorted expert specialist advice and help…

    What i have discovered is that changes of dying from a “one off” exposure are close to one in a million… True, people can die from a one off exposure but the odds are very rare,- you have more chance of dying from a car accident.

    In my case, i have been exposed purely by accident or anothers fault on approx 8 occasions one of which was significant (sweeping up after a builder) so i guess my risk is more like one in 10,000 not million- so I am not worried about the past but yes i am careful in the future…

    Remember that in the 60s and 70s it was the chosen building product- subsequently everybody who passed through that period in time would have been exposed at least once whether whilst having their home renovated or built, mowing lawn over bits and pieces left over or cleaning up after a builder has finished…. I dont know too many 60 and 70 year olds dying from a one off exposure… I am however aware that the odds for a tradesman of this era are 1 in 20- still low but significant enough to have regular check ups.

    I dont think you should worry, but i think you should:
    a) contact the authorities,- the builder should know better especially with todays knowledge- and be responsible for his own safety and others.- children especially….
    b) When i have had to clean up in the past i have worn a P2 mask, wet mopped and wet wiped and then had a thorough shower afterwards making sure to wash hair and under nails… Your situation might be different as mine was from dust left from only one sheet removed and a few holes drilled in the kitchen area…- i would consult with a professional in your case- best to let the experts deal with it..

    c) Not worry or be paranoid by web searches- be realistic about the factual odds… But be careful in future as yes asbestos is deadly…

    Thats my opinion,,

    Daniel

  472. Ian Says:

    Hi Daniel
    Appreciate your thoughtful reply. Your perspective provides some reassurance, though a risk none-the-less. I contacted the authorities today and we’ll see where this takes us!
    Thanks
    Ian

  473. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ian,

    A few issues here.

    The asbestos warning label was a dead give away that the fibre cement sheeting was asbestos based. Certainly, this should not have been ignored and further investigation should have taken place when discovered. These stickers save the guess work out of determining the composition of the material, which often is so difficult…thus saves time and money by otherwise doing lab testing.

    From your description, the tiles were stuck directly to AC sheeting on the floor & perhaps part of the wall, which is a fairly common method of fixing tiles in framed houses that are not constructed with concrete floors and brick walls. (sheeting can also be put on concrete floors to provide a smooth surface) No tiling was done under the vanity, which is where the asbestos sticker was. Quite a logical place for the sticker.

    Asbestos was most likely present in this renovation, however it sounds like a proper asbestos removal procedure was not done. Perhaps only partly done.(Properly would entail sealing off bathroom, use of proper safety equipment, removal of the sheeting itself, clean up and disposal). This is quite unfortunate.

    Given that the builder would have needed a basic asbestos removal qualification, this otherwise would have been a relatively straight forward asbestos removal job that could have been executed quite easily and safely. For the home owner and builder it’s an opportunity for a win-win situation to dispose of asbestos safely and with peace of mind.

    As you’ve pointed out, because of the lack care taken by the builder it’s possible you and your family have been exposed to asbestos…and also to the builder and his employees.

    For the builder, if exposing his client to asbestos isn’t bad enough, then exposing his employees to asbestos in workplace situation complicates the matter even further.

    I’m not sure if you took any photos, but I recommend you take some detailed notes of the event and make a report as soon as possible to the consumer affairs department in your state. (you’ve done this already from your most recent comment I’ve noted).

    Jeff.

  474. Jason K Says:

    Hi all,

    An interesting development on mesothelioma and lung cancer research.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/17300046/cancer-breakthrough-in-wa-research/

    Jason K.

  475. Anthony B Says:

    Not sure if anyone here can help with this, but here goes.

    My parents put a second storey on their house in NZ in 1984. The exterior of the second level is clad in what is almost certainly Hardiflex, which has cracked in parts, due to previous ‘settling’ of the house. James Hardie in NZ did not import the Australian product into NZ. Rather, they manufactured the product in NZ for local sale there. The date of 1981 is widely quoted as the end of manufacturing of the Australian version, but does this date also apply to the NZ version?

    Also, what markings (if any) were on the back of the NZ-made Hardflex prior to or just after the switch from asbestos to cellulose?

    The links below are to photos of the cracked exterior cladding.

    http://s22.postimg.org/uomyb3o0h/Board_cracked.jpg

    http://s22.postimg.org/tvexw87dd/Board_cracked_2.jpg

    http://s9.postimg.org/6xvmjhzj3/Board_cracked_3.jpg

    Grateful for any help on this.

  476. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for the link Jason.

    Jeff.

  477. Jeff Says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I did a quick check on Google for identifying AC sheeting in New Zealand, however nothing specific came up. Looks like we need a NZ asbestos expert here.

    You may need to take a sample of the sheeting to your nearest analystical laboratory for identification… at least that way you can be certain of it’s composition.

    In the mean time, treat it as ‘suspect’

    Jeff.

  478. david Says:

    WONDER BOARD DOES IT CONTAIN Asbestos 3 different people told me 3 different things iim confused

  479. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I am a builder but my wife has concerns with the old fibrous plaster that was used is the same time that asbestos was used.
    Even though I have not heard of any case, are you aware of any?
    Also do you have any qualification relating to Asbestos testing or identification.

    Regards

    Jeff

  480. Dean Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I have architectural drawing for my townhouse that specifies the roof covering to be “Marseiles Tiles”. The townhouse was built in 1975.

    The tiles look like asbestos, but with out knowing the specificatios of “Marseiles Tiles”, could equally be a upmarking shingle type tiles. Its too high to try and inspect.

    To deduce the type of tile ie asbestos or not, are you able to advise the ageing charaterisitic of an asbestos roof looks? I have moss growing on sections – is this consistent with asbestos?

    thanks,

    Dean

  481. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dean,

    Marseilles tiles usually refer to classic french pressed clay tiles made in a machine to a consistant shape and size, interlocking, and are, or were a patented product design. They’re pretty common on older buildings in the tradition red colour and still used on modern buildings.

    Asbestos tiles certainly have been manufactured, but not that common on Aussie roofs but it’s something to be aware of. The tiles themselves have characteristics similar to corugated asbestos cement sheeting. They become dirty grey over the years (if not painted or coated), really old ones (50years +) may show some weathering. Moss grows on them also.

    They should be treated with caution if any roof maintenance is done and may present a fall through hazard when walked on. Replacement tiles are probably difficult or impossible to find (thankfully).

    Perhaps taking a closer look at the tile composition here is needed rather than speculation.

    Jeff.

  482. Rich Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Very informative site. My brick veneer house was built in 1984 and the eaves are a type of fibre sheet. You list a number of product names with dates when asbestos was no longer used in the manufacture of that product. Which of these products would have been used for eave lining? Is it only the Hardiflex product, and given asbestos was phased out of this product in 1981 my eaves should be asbestos free?

    Thanks for any advice – Rich

  483. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rich, The material used in your 1984 house eaves is most likely cellulose based Hardiflex, that’s the theory. However, be aware of the use of “New Old Stock”, that is the older asbestos sheeting that may have sitting in a warehouse for a few years until sold, then used on a job (your house perhaps).

    Look for more evidence of the material composition, such as stickers or stamps stating asbestos free, does not contain asbestos.. or alternatively, stickers / stamps or the asbestos ‘a’ symbol indicating that it is asbestos based.

    If nothing can be found, you may need to take a sample to be lab tested. Better safe than sorry.

    Jeff.

  484. Jeff Says:

    Hi David, There seems to be a modern wet area product called Wonderboard used in bathrooms composed of concrete and fibreglass mesh. There is also an older asbestos cement sheeting made by Hardies (or Wunderlich) under the same name of Wonderboard… which is asbestos based.
    Confusing isn’t it?

    Jeff.

  485. Al Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great site and very informative. 1967 brick veneer home. We are renovating the bathroom to bring it up to scratch. The current bathroom appears to have been renovated maybe in the late 80′s as it is the exact same style of my parents who built their house in ’89.

    I have taken a few tiles off and the ?fibro? has de-laminated and layers come off attached to the glue backing on the tile. (I can email you a photo). Also I opened up the gyprock (Victor Board) on the other side of the wall and the texture appears to be extremely similar to our photograph of the modern hardiflex non asbestos sheeting (looks like a light cross weave hatch and definitely nothing like a dimple texture. Also there are letters and numbers printed on the back but no product name or anything discernable to identify it such as AC or the like. I can make out maybe a V?

    Any assistance much appreciated and I can shoot some photos over as well.

    Thanks in advance on a Saturday night.
    Cheers
    Al

  486. Jeff Says:

    Hi Al,

    From what you tell me: the date of the last renovation (late 80′s), the fact there is a printed manufacturers code (indicating modern manufacturing) and your desciption of the material makes me think this is likely to be a cellulose cement based sheeting.

    You can email photos through to me.

    Look for further evidence, such as manufacturing date to confirm, though it might not be easy to find. Fibre cement sheeting manufacturered in Australia in late 1980′s will not contain asbestos. Failing that, send a sample to be lab tested to check it’s composition.

    Jeff.

  487. Jason K Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’ve just acquired another building certificate for my father’s property which was built in 1981, and the specification lists some interesting specs under the heading “Flexible AC Sheets”.. the text under that heading reads as follows “Unless otherwise specified shall be 4.5mm asbestos-cellulose fibre flat sheet, square stone cut edges, natural mushroom colour”. Then there’s another sub heading that reads “AC Sheets”, with the following text “Unless otherwise specified, shall be 4.5mm flat sheets, pressure steam cured, natural white colour, and free from maker’s stamps or other marks which would be visible if the sheets were left unpainted”. Have just sent you a copy. Thought I’d mention it here for the benefit of reader/s that if they are dealing with a sheet with perhaps no markings at all, it could still be asbestos. What I find interesting is how the building specifications, under the earlier subheading of “Flexible AC Sheets”, mentions “asbestos-cellulose fibre”. I thought it would be one or the other? Does that mean in 1981 for this particular construction for the brick veneer dwelling, that asbestos would have possibly been mixed in with the cellulose fibre for the eaves boarding as referring to the “flexible AC sheets” section? Jase K.

  488. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,
    Cellulose-Asbestos sheeting:

    Yes this is right. Originally in the 50′ and 60′s there was just asbestos cement sheeting such as Hardies Fibrolite, it was great stuff but was pretty brittle and has tendency to crack when nailed on. Hardies had been experimenting with cellulose fibres for a long time, and after much experimentation they found adding cellulose fibres to the mix produced a more flexable sheet that was easier to nail on without so much breakage… hence the new product became ‘HardiFlex’(Sometime in the 1970′s). So at one stage you could purchase either Fibrolite or Hardiflex, and both contained asbestos. Fibrolite, at some stage during the 1970′s, was dropped from the product list leaving Hardiflex only.

    Into early the 1980′s the asbestos content was further reduced (down to 3%) until eventually asbestos was eliminated entirely from the Hardiflex formula, making it the new cellulose-cement fibre sheeting we now know.

    With mention of free of manufacturer markings, I’m pretty sure this referred to the top or face side so sheeting could be left unpainted (arggh ugly) such as a shed or garage. Also these markings may have a tendency to show through even when painted, making it extra work for the painters. So it was for the builders benefit mainly. Later sheeting had markings on the backside such as ‘Contains Asbestos’. (Perhaps as law suits mounted up against Hardies, this was their response).

    Jeff.

  489. Simon Says:

    I am in the process of removing an ensuite that was added to the master bedroom in our Canberra home in the late-1970s, and have just had confirmation (from a sample sent away to be tested) that the internal walls are indeed asbestos sheeting. Thought it would be worth posting the details here to help others. The dimpled side of the sheeting is stamped “Wunderlich Villaboard” in purple letters. What concerns me slightly about the advice I found on this site (prior to having the sheets tested) is that the dimpled pattern on these sheets is IDENTICAL to the dimpled pattern shown in the photos above for the non-asbestos ‘Hardiflex’. So a word of warning: do not use the dimpled pattern on the back of ceramic sheeting as a reliable guide for whether or not it may contain asbestos!

  490. Jeff Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for that advice. Yes, that’s right, using the backing pattern alone is not sufficient evidence to make a positive identification and it goes to show different manufacturers had different back paterns…also, not all AC products were made by Hardies, Wunderlich was also in the business. Other factors (if known) such as age of building should be taken into account, and various markings and dates all should be considered when assessing sheeting. If no conclusion can be determined, then a sample should be sent for lab analysis.

    Certainly in your late 1970′s home, the date would immediately suggest asbestos being used in the construction. Asbestos free products (cellulose based) didn’t start to appear until in the early 1980′s.

    Jeff.

  491. Sally Says:

    Hi there,

    I removed some tiles in my bathroom in preparation for a bathroom renovation. Underneath was Hardiflex Cement Sheeting. It will have to be replaced because the tiles were glued on with a black tar like substance! My house was built in 1981, so I’ve read it could have 3-4% asbestos in it. So I’ve investigated some of the labs and found 2 in Victoria charging around $120-$150. However one in Queensland is only charging $44 per sample. They seem reputable. Any reason for the massive difference in price?

    Cheers,
    Sally

  492. Alan Says:

    Hi Jeff
    You are providing a great service to the community with this website, well done.
    We have recently bought a 1920s house that has not been renovated. The hallway, kitchen and veranda ceiling, is some type of cement sheeting, not plaster like the rest of the house. I have read through the 490 comments and i am not clear if asbestos used in cement sheeting as far back as the 1920s. Are you able to clarify
    Thanks
    Alan

  493. Steve Says:

    Congratulations Jeff on maintaining a very informative site. My issue is this I bought a hardie plank clad house in tasmania that was built in 1985/1986. I became aware that there was a transition period when asbestos was phased out so I had a typical board analysed and was relieved to receive a lab result that said ‘no asbestos’. On the strength of this I set about removing the boards in order to reclad. Later I noticed that some of the boards I was removing had an indistinct printed message on the back stamped in green. I can decipher ASBESTOS and a serial number 321494. The printing is so indistinguishable that I can ‘t tell whether it is positive or negative message raising the possibility that the original builder used a mixed batch. Do you have any experience of the markings and the code. Clearly I will resubmit a sample but meanwhile I,d appreciate your thoughts.

  494. danielle Says:

    My grandparents had their house renovated 4 years ago and have recently given us a piece of board that was left over from their toilet that was put in. It has Tilux 1971 written on it, so I was wandering if someone could please tell me if this contains Asbestos?? it would be greatly appreciated

  495. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Just starting renovations of a brick veneer house. All internal wall were clad in asbestos cfc & I have had them professionally removed. Now after removing some of the foil building paper I have noticed corrugated sheets in the cavity between the brick & the timber frame, I assume this will be asbestos as. Was this a regular practice. House is circa 60′s 70′s. I need to remove some internal studs to replace termite damage I assume the corrugated sheets will need to be removed as well?

  496. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Good to hear internal asbestos walls were identified and professionally removed.

    The corrugated sheeting in the cavity wall seems a little unusual. I haven’t seen that before and can’t think why it would be there. How much corrugated sheeting is there?

    In any case, as you’ve mentioned, assume this is asbestos sheeting and either have it removed, or put a warning label on it future renovators / builders.

    Jeff.

  497. Jeff Says:

    Hi Danielle, Yes Tilux does contain asbestos. Treat it with caution.

    Jeff.

  498. Jeff Says:

    Hi Steve, the green “Asbestos Free” stamp was certainly used on the early cellulose based Hardiflex. It may have been the same for early cellulose based HardiPlank. I’d like to confirm this also.

    I look forward to hearing of your test results. If you can find a good example of the green stamp on your Hardiplank, please take a photo of it and send it through, I’ll post it up for others check out.

    jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

  499. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sally, I’d love to know the answer to that one as well. The average going rate was around $80 to give you some comparision. The $44 price from the QLD asbestos lab seems good and if they do a reliable and professional service, then go for it.

    Jeff.

  500. Steve Says:

    Much appreciated Jeff,

    The advice stamp does incorporate another word beneath ‘ASBESTOS’ and before the numerical in the second line and having used photoshop colour filters I am tempted the read it as ‘FREE, although it remains very indistinct. The boards also display horizontally across the rear in black HARDIPLANK WOODGRAIN and yet again another numer B32 2581 What would have been so wrong with using an equally good quality green ink for the advice note???

    I’ll send through he best enhanced photographs I was able to raise by regular email and once again thank you.

  501. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    The corrugated sheets run full height on all perimeter walls & around openings. It was a surprise to me, maybe they used it as extra insulation. Just something else to be mindful of when you purchase properties from this era.

  502. Jeff Says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks, I got your photos…I reckon I can see the words FREE under Asbestos in very pale green. Very pale indeed.

    As you say, more distinct marking ink would have been helpful by the manufacturer.

    The numbers I think indicate the factory (B32) and 2581 might be the batch number, but don’t quote me on that.

    Jeff.

  503. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mark, yes extra insulation, damp proof barrier, maybe even the remains of temporary external wall. Makes extra work and expense for you now unfortunately.

    Jeff.

  504. Bob Hayes Says:

    Hi Jeff,lots of good info, but we have been thinking about replacing the fences and they are all 7 rib corry, there are thousands of klms around Perth, the fencer thinks its Asbestos and wants to charge $2000 per fence = $6000 to remove the fences, the house was built about 30/ 35 yrs ago, could this be Asbestos and is this kind of charge normal for this kind of project,might have to wait, cheers.

  505. Jeff Says:

    Hi Bob,
    This would be late 1970′s / early 80′s vintage, so the sheeting is most likely asbestos. $2000 per fence just for removal and safe disposal. I guess it depends on the length of fence and difficultly removing it. It does sound like a reasonable ballpark figure for I’m guessing around 75metres of fencing.

    Get more quotes and compare prices.

    Jeff.

  506. Bob Hayes Says:

    Jeff thanks, I am in the process of obtaining more quotes at the moment, cheers.

  507. Tim Says:

    Hi Jeff. Two years ago I ripped out two old wardrobes in the house my wife and I bought. The house was built in circa 1978/1979. The walls were built of a plasterboard type stuff. Basically a white chalky substance, sandwiched between what looked like a brown paper.

    Anyway I freaked out about it …. Couldnt believe I had been so dumb ripping out these wardrobes without really checking it first.I took a sample to the local building supplier. He told me that it was gyprock plasterboard. The interior of this house didn’t have any walls that looked like fibro.

    Nothing had a dimpled surface, it wasn’t hard in the way fibro is. There were none of those classic giveaways like strips to cover the joins in fibro wall sheeting.

    Even though I ve had the guy tell me it wasn’t asbestos based, I ve never been totally convinced. He was after all just looking at it.

    What are my chances do you think it was asbestos based? Its hard for you because you didn’t actually see it. The exterior of the place on the sides and rear was sheeted in asbestos based sheeting … I m pretty sure it was anyway. The interior walls though???

    Any ideas??

    Tim

  508. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tim, Rest easy mate…I can tell you now, that *is* Gyprock just like the building suppler said. Composed of plaster and cardboard and does not contain any asbestos.

    Jeff.

  509. Cam Says:

    I found some old hardiflex 48013 hardiflex sheeting and am wondering if it is asbestos free?

  510. Simon Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I have some sheet in a house I bought and stamped with the following letters and numbers W4311293UL. Wondering if this could be fibro sheeting. House is built around 1970 and there is definitely other fibro products in the house. Looking at the writing it looks like it is more modern than the 70′s

  511. Ben Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m hoping you can help me. I’ve cut out small holes to run some speaker cable down a supporting beam. It is metal but has a ‘box’ built around it out of this stuff: http://img507.imageshack.us/img507/2601/hz0c.jpg

    I thought the fact it seems to be layered and isn’t ‘brittle’ should be reassuring? I hadn’t even considered it might contain asbestos until after I’d cut all the holes and my wife mentioned it!

    I’m fairly sure it’s safe as I think the previous owners did the renovations when this would have been done in the very late 90s (Queensland, Australia)

    Anxiously await your reply!
    Cheers
    Ben

  512. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ben,

    It does look like HardiFlex with the peeling layers. I tend to think date you mentioned would seem to confirm this. It’s most likely modern cellulose based Hardiflex (or similar).

    Jeff.

  513. Jeff Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Are you in Perth? From what I recall about the numbering: W4 is machine number 4 Welshpool factory (Perth), and the date could be 31/12/93 (Working new years eve?). I’m not sure about UL though. If this is 1993 manufacture, then certainly it would be cellulose based material.

    I’m still no expert on these numbers yet, so take caution just to be sure.

    Jeff.

  514. Jeff Says:

    Hi Cam,

    Not enough information to go on here. Any known date of the house or structure where the Hardiflex was found?

    Jeff.

  515. Simon Says:

    Thanks Jeff – In Sydney. It certainly has a much smoother texture than the stuff I know is old Fibro based material. The writing is in dots on the sheet which to me indicates far more recent. I’ll try and get a photo of it and flick it through to you – good for the records anyhow?

  516. Jeff Says:

    Hi Simon, yes email through jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

    I suspect this is a modern cellulose based material, with the printing like that.

    Jeff.

  517. Gary Says:

    Great Website. Jeff thanks for your ongoing commitment to helping everyone. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a forum post go on for years and remain current.
    I’m doing renovations at the moment in a house that was originally built in the 70′s. Internally all of the walls are villaboard. They don’t have a date stamp on them, or any reference to not containing asbestos but there is a product code. Is there a database somewhere you can search for product codes to determine if those products contain asbestos? Thanks
    Gary

  518. Simon Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I should have the photos soon. I turned the sheet over and it says Hardies cork and vinyl underlay. I tried sending the numbers to Hardies and got nothing back – not surprised.

  519. Jeff Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for that. This might explain “UL” in the code, as underlay. You may need to resort to submitting a sample for lab analysis if you cannot verify the composition by the code.

    Jeff.

  520. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gary, Thanks. As far as I know there is no public accessable database of the Hardies (and Wunderlich) manufacturing codes. If it’s the original Villaboard from the 1970′s, you can be pretty sure it’s asbestos based and therefore treat it with caution. If all else fails, then submit a sample for lab testing.

    Jeff.

  521. PHILL Says:

    HI JEFF,

    WE RECENTLY BOUGHT A HOUSE WITH FIBRO ROOF SHEETING AS IN A SHINGLES LOOK. THE HOUSE WAS BUILT 1983/4 AND HAS 1986 STAMPED IN THE CHIMNEY CEMENT. WOULD THIS ROOFING CONTAIN ASBESTOS THANKS PHILL

  522. Harley Says:

    BEVELUX..

    In a Queenslander rife with the stuff and we want it ripped out to do a renovations, we have about 45 sqm2 of it.

    Do I need a licensed remover to remove it and take it away.?
    I believe it contains Amosite, does it ?

    What a great web site,

  523. glenn Says:

    hi jeff.
    we have a house that we think was bult in 1989 due to the power box has install date of 1989 with old meters. in our laurdry we have fibro board that not painted it been nailed with the same style nail as used on plaster board. all so were the taps holes been cut thro is not neat like is a hard board is more like a torn thick fiber carbord. will this be asbestos or not. thank you glenn

  524. Jane Says:

    Hi

    I also have Bevelux printed on our house in Paddington, Brisbane, cracked and broken should I get this removed its to enclose our electric meter.

    Thank you for an informative site.

  525. Jeff Says:

    Hi Phil, I haven’t actually seen this profile of roof sheeting myself, so I’d be interested in getting a few photos of it. Send to jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com

    Faux slate shingles made from AC certainly were available.

    I do have a suspicion this could be an asbestos based material as the cellulose based alternatives at that time simply were not strong enough for roofing.

    Jeff.

  526. Jeff Says:

    Hi Harley, Bevelux is AC sheeting with bevelled edges from the 1970′s. With 45m2 of this stuff you’ll need a licensed asbestos removalist contractor to take it away. Unlicensed DIY renovators can only remove a maximum of 10m2 themselves.

    I’m not sure of the exact composition, but yes it may contain amosite as a mixture of Chrysoltile (Many asbestos products often had mixtures of different asbestiforms).

    Jeff.

  527. Jeff Says:

    Hi Glen, I reckon that’s modern Hardiflex, which doesn’t contain asbestos.

    Jeff.

  528. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jane, yes get it replaced if you have the budget. It will improve the appearance and is an opportunity to get rid of the asbestos based Bevelux. Make sure the job is done properly, taking all the usual asbestos removal precautions and using personal safety equipment.

    Jeff.

  529. The Habit Says:

    [...] HomeAboutPrivacy PolicyArticlesAsbestos Labs How to identify asbestos fibro cladding Filed in fibro on Dec.02, 2009 Fibro sheeting is perhaps one of the commonest building products to come across when doing renovations to an older building. It was widely used from the 1950’s and is still being used today, albeit in non asbestos form thankfully. Fibro sheeting gained popularity during the post World War II period because of its cheap… Open this article [...]

  530. Harley Says:

    Jeff

    I had a local builder round this morning who took a look at it and I mentioned to him I strongly believe this has asbestos in it, I showed him the name on the back of the board which clearly states BEVELUX 3NG, he says oh it’s nothing to worry about, we can and have removed that lots of times, it doesn’t contain asbestos, but we will wrap it and dispose of it in the local tip…….it’s not that old you have nothing too worry about..!

    I’m going to get a licensed come around around I think to see whats best..

  531. PHILL Says:

    Hi Jeff
    some more info on the shingles roof, there are full sheets underneath the
    shingles which are held up by jarrah roof battens 50mmx25mm about
    300mm apart across the roof truss

  532. Paul Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Did the back of any old asbestos containing fibro look like the new asbestos free Hardiflex?

  533. Jeff Says:

    Hi Harley, Yes, definately get a second and third opinion till you are satisified with what you are dealing with. If in doubt submit a sample for lab testing. As far as I know Bevelux is an old asbestos based product.

    Jeff.

  534. Jeff Says:

    Hi Phil, got your email with photos and have replied. Jeff.

  535. Jeff Says:

    Hi Paul, yes I believe some of the later production asbestos sheeting (circa 1980) has a different pattern to the older stuff, and also sheeting made by Wunderlich also has different pattern.

    Jeff.

  536. Jenny Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I have a few sections of my bathroom ceiling paint peeled off. And I can see that the ceiling board is brown color , look like wood. Do you know what that board made of, is it valliborad , plasterboard. I check google images, if it’s valliborad or plasterboard they should have grey color instead of brown wood like color.

    Im concerned about asbestos in the ceiling, also my house was built in 1986.

    Thanks in advance

    Jenny

  537. phil Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Removed somed tiles of a grey sheeted bathroom wall , some of the sheet came off with the tile and contains visable white fibres about 5mm long , the builder whom I am contracting to has had his father (who has mesoth..oma ) has had a look at it and “reckons” from his experience its Hardiflex and does not contain asbestos , the house looks as if it was built in the seventies , I’m not convinced on heresay opinion to continue work , are there any particular viual characteristics of asb products ? I will be asking the builder to seek a professional opinion . I’ve noticed the meter box backing is a black sheet material and some other parts of the home have similar characteristics as your “indicator” pictures , cheers for your feedback .

  538. Cara Says:

    Hi hoping I could get some information on tilux. We found tilux in our kitchen after we ripped it out.
    the only reason i investigated was because it was very hard to get through and the flower pattern which was used on the sheeting, it all seemed a little suss!! I mainly want to know If all tilux made from asbestos?
    I am a little freaked out and am trying to get as much Information as possible.

  539. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jenny,

    A build date of 1986, it’s unlikely to be asbestos based material. It’s probably Villaboard like you’ve mentioned, sometimes this is light brown in colour.

    Jeff.

  540. Jeff Says:

    Hi Phil,

    With AC sheeting I’ve noticed the fibres are in bundles or clumps when viewed under a magnifying glass. Cellulose based Hardiflex seems to look more like torn cardboard and the fibres are more uniform. It’s not always easy to tell and this is not a reliable method.

    If the house was built in the 1970′s this would make it a solid candidate for asbestos based materials. However, it could have been renovated in the 1990′s with Hardiflex. The back side of the sheeting could hold some clues, such as asbestos labels “Contains Asbestos” (or “does not contain asbestos” labeling).

    In any case it’s better to be safe than sorry, if you still can’t get a positive id on the material, you’ll need to get it lab tested.

    Jeff.

  541. Jeff Says:

    Hi Cara,

    Yes absolutley, Tilux DOES contains asbestos. Handle with caution. Use protection such as P2 / P3 mask and other protective clothing when working with Tilux.

    Jeff.

  542. Dave Says:

    Hi,
    I have just bought a house In Rocky, probably built around the mid 50′s. The internal roof has fibro batons to connect the joins however the walls do not.
    Is it possible the walls are not a fibrolite material?

  543. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dave,

    The house certainly is in the classic Fibrolite era. I’d say there’s good chance the walls are asbestos fibro also. However, it’s possible it’s another material such as plasterboard, this may explain the no visable joiners. Is the material soft or hard?

    More investigation needed here.

    Jeff.

  544. Jovan Says:

    Hello Jeff,

    My father was going to start some renovations in our bathroom, he came across Hardies Villaboard AB 2305489 and asked me to find out if it contains asbestos on the internet. In my opinion and reading your threads above it is unlikely due to house being built in 89. What is your advice?

    Regards

    Jovan

  545. Kristian Says:

    Hi there. Fantastic information on this site. This has probably been answered over and over, though I am just after piece of mind. I recently moved into an older house that has been 80% renovated. That’s great!
    The not so great news is that the old garage has not been renovated and is made up of what I believe asbestos fibro. Very, very similar to photographs on this site. The worse news is, the previous tenants (of 2.5 years ago) treated the place like a bit of a dump and have damaged the walls in a bad way. Many holes and cracks throughout, coupled with a lot of exposed broken edges. I’m not one to spend to much time in a garage anyway, and I have absolutely no intention of touching it or trying to fix it myself, but am I at risk just leaving it as is? Or are these exposed areas still releasing fibres into the air. I’m quite distressed about it actually, although I’ve been told “I’ll be fine as long as I don’t touch it”. That doesn’t overly satisfy my paranoia. Any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated.
    Cheers
    Kristian

  546. Brodiee Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Is there any website that we can check if codes on the hardiflex have asbestos? Our house was built in the early 80′s and the carport has been built in a little after that. The hardiflex code is W4 H2 8 355 19:55. The ceiling sheeting has the stickers inside saying it has asbestos in it but nothing on the wall. And do you know what year they started putting stickers on the sheeting?
    Thanks,
    Brodiee

  547. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jovan,

    I agree with your assessment. 1989 vintage material…The villaboard is most likely cellulose cement based material and does not contain asbestos.

    Jeff.

  548. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kristian,

    Left as it is, and undisturbed, I would consider the garage as low risk. The fibres embedded in the asbestos cement matrix are quite stable will not be released unless subject to further physical action.

    To be sure, you can apply a water / PVA (aquadhere glue) solution over the broken edges which will seal it up.

    Jeff.

  549. Jeff Says:

    Hi Brodiee,

    Sadly there’s not much info on Hardies manufacturing codes. From what I do know about them:

    W4: W is plant name (somewhere in Oz), 4 is machine number 4 the sheeting was made on.
    H2: Hardiflex II
    8355: Date 1983, day 55
    19:55: Time in 24hr format.

    Apparently asbestos based Hardiflex was phased out in 1981, so this should be a cellulose product. I’m no expert at decoding the Hardies manufacturing codes so take caution. Asbestos stickers were placed on sheeting in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s. In addtion, asbestos free stickers and markings were placed on products when the new cellulose products came onto market.

    Jeff.

  550. Rachael Says:

    Hi, I own a 70s timber framed home. I know our bathroom and laundry is all asbestos but not sure of the rest of our house. The internal walls are a brown material which I assumed was something like a masonite. I’m now not so sure that this was used for walls. Also our ceilings appear to asbestos but could just be some type of cement sheeting. Definitely the grey colour and you can see the nails. Any advice?

  551. Gary Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Thanks for providing a great resource for asbestos awareness and information.
    Our circa 1920′s weatherboard bungalow has an old fireplace and built-in shelves which I set upon demolishing a few days ago. When I removed the timber mantle, I discovered that the walls have a fibrous cement cladding … http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/8610/kjqt.jpg and http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/7922/amft.jpg
    The fibres appear quite strong. I tried pulling one of the fibres away from the cladding and it wouldn’t budge. Could this be asbestos?
    Many Thanks.

  552. Rod Says:

    We bought a house recently built in the 60′s and are renovating the bathroom. It has obviously been renovated before and the sheeting behind the tiles appears to be non-asbestos. The sheets are layered and not brittle and have a black stamp on the back which says AB 333248. I was almost certain that these were not asbestos but was concerned because it was labelled AB. Does that mean anything?
    Also, we’re any asbestos sheets layered and not brittle?
    Finally, under these sheets on the floor are vinyl tiles 200mm square which appear original. They are black with a couple of pink ones in the middle and are adhered direct to the floorboards very well. I believe some vinyl tiles may also contain asbestos. Are these tiles likely to contain asbestos?
    Thanks for a very informative site.

  553. Daniel Says:

    Hi jeff,,

    A friend of mine recently removed an old kitchen for joiners to come in and install the new one… Whilst removing tiles and cupboards they accidentally managed to put 2 holes in the what looks to be fibro wall… I recently rang council to inquire on the date of the room and I’ve been given 1979 and 1980 ba….

    I know all fibro is a risk but i- Just wanted to know if asbestos sheeting from these dates contained only chrysotile? And if smaller percentages were used post 1976??

    My friend us quite ignorant even though i have warned,,,Would it be fair to say that my life is at risk every time I visit within the next few months?

  554. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel, Tell your friend you’ll be busy (have second job) and if you do visit, don’t forget to wear your white (head to toe) coveralls, P2 dust mask and have a HEPA vacuum cleaner by your side. If you get a funny look, tell your friend you’ve joined Greenpeace and are off to a rally.

    The AC sheeting is most likely Chrysotile based (White asbestos). Towards the end of the 70′s and early 80′s the percentage of asbestos in the sheeting was reduced (10% down to 5%) prior to elimination of asbestos entirely.

    Is there a health risk?

    Depends if there was an effective cleanup after the drilling. Cleanup would have been quite straight forward, but did it happen at all? If dust is still there on the floor or where ever, then I’d suggest there is a chance of asbestos fibre inhalation and something that could have easily been avoided.

    Jeff.

  555. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rod, Unfortunately I can’t say if the number corresponds to either AC sheeting or non asbestos. Check for other clues such as use of stud adhesive, modern looking nails and screws, dates on other associated items in the bathroom, even timber sometimes has a date code. If nothing comes of this, you can always take a sample to be lab tested for positive identification.

    Tiles: If they are the original vinyl tiles from the 60′s I’d put these in the high risk category of containing asbestos. Take precautions when removing these. Confirm with lab testing if needed.

    Jeff.

  556. Vic Danis Says:

    Jeff,
    This is a very helpful site and other people’s comments good to review. It is still unlear to me what the numbers of Villaboard panels mean. I have been down to my Church’s garage and there is a large sheet (3.4×1.8m) of virgin villaboard being stored on the wall bracket. It has a code 20231655. The church hall was made from Villaboard (I can read a partial code ending in 52) in the 50′s and I suspect this was left over from construction then. It may also have been acquired in the 90′s however after some other church renovations took place but no one remembers.Is this the villaboard that contains asbestos? Did they change the label of non-asbestos Villaboard to Villaboard2 in the mid 80′s? Would it be safe to just assume asbestos and dispose of accordingly as it would cost just as much to send off a sample to test?

  557. Jeff Says:

    Hi Vic, unfortunately the numbers mean little to me as well. The switch over date from asbestos to cellulose based Villaboard was 1981. Unless you can find some stickers or marking to indicate its composition, the only way you’ll know is by taking a sample off to the lab.

    Jeff.

  558. Charlie Says:

    Hi There,

    Does anyone have any information about COVERLINE Fibro ?
    It’s used on my 1973 home as external cladding, that I recently purchased.

    Cheers
    Charlie

  559. Jen Says:

    Can you tell me if the cladding “Duroc siding” contains asbestos as this was used a lot in the 1950s

  560. Jeff Says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Coverline was one of Hardies profiled cladding sections from the 1970′s. It’s a decorative asbestos cement based sheeting with series of ridges which looked a little more aesthetic than the plain flat sheeting. It’s 6mm thick and came in variety of stock lengths from 1800mm to 3000mm long.

    As far as I know, when Hardies phased out much of it’s asbestos based sheeting and replaced them with cellulose based products, Coverline was discontinued in 1985.

    Jeff.

  561. daniel Says:

    Quick one….

    1976 brick two story home… Original toilet above garage.. Toilet floor is tiles and under that appears to be a cement sheet approx 2-3cm thick… A) could this be asbestos? B) to get original drain to toilet and floor through the cement looks to be very roughly chiseled around these large (160mm+)pipe areas..-being out of elements/ weather could this pose a hazard today? Keeping in mind that we lived there for 30 years.. Or only when it was hacked at as fibres locked in cement?

  562. Jeff Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    This sound like Hardies Compressed Sheeting (or similar) which was often used in this type of construction. Yes, it’s asbestos based and quite possibly left over fragments from the original hole cutting exercise are still there. Take all the usual asbestos precautions when working near this.

    Jeff.

  563. Daniel Says:

    Hi jeff,

    Thanks for the info,,

    The sheet is basically part of the ceiling to our garage (two storey house).. As a result the garage underneath has probably been swept literally 2000 times since it was originally installed in 76 so I don’t expect any fragments from original installation on the floor…. My concern stems over whether the cut out area would still be releasing fibres or whether this would have ceased once cutting operations stopped due to binding of cement and as a result once the garage was cleaned whether the garage is safe and has been for 30 years..

    Also, two other questions; being 1976 would it likely be chrysotile and 10%?? The Eves have plastic joiners with small nail heads on edges and no cracking- so I’m assuming a low percentage for them?

  564. graham Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Renovating the bathroom house built in 1967 but bathroom updated around 1990. The Hardyflex sheets show hardyflex 11 W4 H2 8 186 10.46 from previous info above does this indicate that the sheets are non asbestos?

  565. Dave Says:

    Hi Jeff – wow you’ve done an amazing job with all of this. Thanks and well done. My question is about the old asbestos corrugated roofing. BIG and expensive to replace so wondering about options. If it’s well bonded i imagine it’s ok to keep, but it’ll only take one bad sheet as matching in with iron would be impossible? Can it be painted?

  566. Ivan Says:

    HI Jeff,

    Like many before I’m unsure about the existing fibre cement sheeting in our bathrooms,

    I have recently started our bathroom renovation, removing the tiles(floor and Wall), vanity unit and bath. Upon removing the gyprock on the entrance hallway, exposing the second Bathroom fibre cement wall. links below.

    http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt209/RUfour86/IMG_1216_zps8b727ba0.jpg

    http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt209/RUfour86/IMG_1217_zpsb9eb1384.jpg

    http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt209/RUfour86/IMG_1218_zps39d5bb94.jpg

    I now concerned of its and the bathroom Im about to renovate makeup, if it contains asbestos.

    there are no marking of manufacture and or product description anywhere on either side of the sheeting, however the close up shot indicated a degree of fibres.

    Up to this point, Ive been working in protective gear, and all the removed tiles are stored in a tarp covered trailer, awaiting disposal.

    I have the original planes for the house which is a BV, made in 78′.
    the planes state “compressed Cement sheeting” to wet areas and “Westbord Aquitite Sheet Flooring”, Ive been unable to find anything to that reference on the web also to its make up.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Regards

    Ivan

  567. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I recently had a painter do some external painting of fibro. Some of the paint was peeling badly, which the painter scrapped off, leaving alot of paint chips on the ground.

    Are these paint chips from a fibro wall a health hazard?

    If I mow over them with the lawn mower, is this a problem?

  568. Sharon Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Thankyou for this site..

    My husband and i are currently house hunting… He has a habit of crawling in and under older houses often in his everyday clothes with a torch during open houses to inspect..

    He usually comes out only with dirt on his shoes and he said the risk is tiny as hes only in there for 5 minutes and doesnt stir dirt up. He rinses his feet once out from under houses and brushes dirt off his knees.. Hes an x builder and he said its commonplace for tradies even today to quickly crawl under houses to quote jobs without “gearing up”. He said that any dust created from original construction would be minimal if any..

    Yesterday he came out of under a house covered in dirt. When i asked him about it he said almost no risk as the house is made of bricks, plaster and the wet area floors are a poured slab of cement.. I made sure to wash his clothes as soon as we got home… He said I am overworried and panicking about the risks would you agree?

    Kind regards,

    Sharon

  569. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Possible sources of asbestos under the house: Drillings, cuttings, broken pieces of fibro. Friable asbestos covering old hot water pipes. (Very dangerous). The danger could range from low risk to high risk depending on the nature of the house. The brick and tile house mentioned, probably would be fairly low and it’s possible only a small amount of asbestos was used in the original constuction anyway, which the maybe located externally, such as in the eaves. Thus any drillings or saw debris would be located on the outside of the house, not under it.

    On the other hand, beware of hot water pipe lagging which may be found in really old houses. This friable asbestos is extremely dangerous and it’s possible leftover pieces maybe laying around in the dirt and be a potential source of asbestos fibre release. (Don’t buy this house then also)

    Jeff.

  570. Jason Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for this great site… Very informative..

    Im writing because we have a seperate shed out the back.. The shed was built in 1980-1981 and the inside of the fibro has the stickers “warning this product contains a small percentage of asbestos”…

    A section of the shed (15 x 10cm) was recently chewed up by rats overnight (yes overnight).. The following week, without even knowing i used my outdoor vac to clean up the rat drops and give the shed a general clean up… (it wasnt until later that i noticed the section that had been eaten by the rats)……..

    Just wanted to know if now i am at significant risk/ family? what i should do now to protect health? and also what type of asbestos/ percentage would typically be in a shed of this age?

    Thanks

    Jason

  571. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    The fibro of that age would typically be around 3%-5% asbestos. Good to see the stickers are still intact, which helps with identification.

    No sure how much debris the rats left behind, or if they ingested it. I can imagine it be similar to fibro scrapings or small fragments which may present a dust hazard when blown around with the outdoor vac as you suggest.

    I would say there is a slight risk of inhalation of loose fibres mostly to yourself (as you were doing vaccuming) rather than your family. You might find most of rat chewings be located on the outside of the shed, rather than inside, therefore very few fibres inside the shed.

    You can try doing a clean up to be sure. Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth (dispose of cloth afterwards). Wash / mop down the floor. Depends how much stuff you have in your shed and how practical it is. Put down rat baits to prevent a repeat episode.

    Jeff.

  572. Jason Says:

    Thanks for the information Jeff,,,

    I guess it’s somewhat reassuring to know its likely to be a lower percentage, even though this would be still a risk..

    I know that the only way to know for sure is by testing but would the 1980 fibro with warning stickers typically be white asbestos or was the brown asbestos still commonly used at that point in time?

    Thanks,

    Jason

  573. Ivan Says:

    Bump

    Any inside to my possible asbestos cladding

    Ivan Says:
    October 21st, 2013 at 11:38 am
    HI Jeff,
    Like many before I’m unsure about the existing fibre cement sheeting in our bathrooms,
    I have recently started our bathroom renovation, removing the tiles(floor and Wall), vanity unit and bath. Upon removing the gyprock on the entrance hallway, exposing the second Bathroom fibre cement wall. links below.
    http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt209/RUfour86/IMG_1216_zps8b727ba0.jpg
    http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt209/RUfour86/IMG_1217_zpsb9eb1384.jpg
    http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt209/RUfour86/IMG_1218_zps39d5bb94.jpg
    I now concerned of its and the bathroom Im about to renovate makeup, if it contains asbestos.
    there are no marking of manufacture and or product description anywhere on either side of the sheeting, however the close up shot indicated a degree of fibres.
    Up to this point, Ive been working in protective gear, and all the removed tiles are stored in a tarp covered trailer, awaiting disposal.
    I have the original planes for the house which is a BV, made in 78′.
    the planes state “compressed Cement sheeting” to wet areas and “Westbord Aquitite Sheet Flooring”, Ive been unable to find anything to that reference on the web also to its make up.
    Any assistance would be appreciated.
    Regards
    Ivan

  574. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ivan,

    Sorry for the delay. The sheeting is pretty difficult to identify without any other evidence such as warning stickers or manufacturer marks. Possibly, some rough dating can be made from the type of materials used in construction. I see what looks like blue stud adhesive, wall plugs, nail clouts, but nothing that will give a definate date of construction.

    The original plans are probably your best bet. The 1978 date as mentioned means original sheeting *will* contain asbestos. Compressed cement sheeting is just a genric term for asbestos fibro sheeting (without mentioning any trade names). Westboard Aquitite sheet flooring, I think is thick sheeting (~20mm) used in bathroom / laundry floors and being from 1978 would most likely contain asbestos. If you can access underneath this sheeting perhaps there are markings. Exercise caution if ripping off old tiles on this stuff.

    Since there is the possiblilty of many renovations which may have taken place since 1978, this is all speculation…so it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume it does contain asbestos. To be certain, you can take a sample to the nearest testing lab for positive identification, that way you’ll know what your dealing with.

    Jeff.

  575. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason,

    This will be white (Chrysotile) asbestos in this type of sheeting. Brown asbestos was used most only in curved and pipe products by this stage.

    Jeff.

  576. another is it or isn't it? thread Says:

    […] guess this really has my interest now. This link will give you a few nights reading: How to identify asbestos fibro when doing renovations | The Asbestos Removal Guide Seems the phasing out I was aware of at the time was the deadly blue asbestos, then later followed […]

  577. Elleni Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I noticed that in the second last comment you said to Jason that 1980 fibro with the stickers would contain only chrysotile (white) asbestos.. Would this also be the case for 1976–1977 fibro? Or is it likely that the more dangerous brown asbestos is thrown into the mix?

    Elleni

  578. Peter Says:

    Jeff,

    Great site. Thanks for your dedication to this.

    I have a rental property where the tennant has concerns that the wall cladding underneath the premises is bonded asbestos. The writing on the cladding is that it is James Hardie Villaboard and carries written precautions “do not breathe dust” and “use a respirator”. I called an Asbestos Removalist service and they advised that it is unlikely to be asbestos as this did not carry warnings.

    I will get the year (and also get it tested). But thought I would double check if you knew whether asbestos carried warnings?

    Thanks,
    Peter.

  579. Jeff Says:

    Hi Elleni, I’m pretty sure 1976 -77 sheet would also be chrysotile only.

    Jeff.

  580. Jeff Says:

    Hi Peter, what I know is Hardies Villaboard ceased being manufactured with asbestos in 1981… from then onwards it was cellulose based. The warnings on there are for the benefit of tradies of the period who were likely to be cutting and sawing it during construction. Many of the asbestos products manufactured by Hardies in the late 1970′s & early 1980′s did contain asbestos warning labels / stickers like this. What is the age of the building by the way?

    For the tenant, the risk of asbestos exposure is very low…left alone, it should do no harm.

    Jeff.

  581. Kathy Says:

    I was wondering if I had asbestos in the sheeting behind the tiles which are coming loose in the bathroom. The house was built around 1987. The building inspector on settlement day said the house probably had fibre cement sheeting but that it was built in a two year transition period from when asbestos was banned to when stocks were allowed to be used up.

  582. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kathy, 1987, I would expect it to be asbestos free products being used in the house. However,as the building inspector pointed out, it’s possible old stocks of asbestos based sheeting could have been used. Better to be safe than sorry, so you might want investigate it further by getting a sample sent off to your nearest asbestos testing Lab.

    Regards,
    Jeff.

  583. Dave Says:

    Hi jeff
    Is chryostile asbestos bad. It feels like villaboard
    Had It checked and the test come back with chryostile
    In it.

  584. Jeff Says:

    Hi Dave, Yes Chrysotile asbestos is bad. Use all the necessary safety precautions if your doing a renovation involving the suspect Villaboard. Better to be safe than sorry. Lab test well worth doing when dealing with suspect fibre cement.

    Jeff.

  585. Shane Says:

    I’d just like to say thankyou all for your time and efforts in sharing this information.
    I’m a hands on, do almost everything myself type of man and knowledge like this, passed on freely, is the most valuable tool I have.
    I’m keen to purchase a 1970 build beach shack south of Perth, it is clad with a wide shadow profile then a brick rendered skin has been added front and sides with the rear left exposed under patio extension. There are a fair amount of rough edges, rough workmanship, around the eaves but all is painted and tidy enough that I am comfortable. There is a shed and studio clad with the flat fibro which is deteriorating and not as well maintained not all painted and some sheets are cracked.
    Any tips, specialised/local knowledge, tricks or advice would be most welcome.
    Cheers. Have a safe one.

    The whole lot will be for demolition in 3 – 5 years but I would

  586. Paul Eddington Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m removing asbestos from an old garage. One piece of ceiling has a stamp on the back that reads “Hardiflex P4108093GH2″. It looks to me like it is non-asbestos Hardiflex, but I just wanted to get your input. Can you interpret the numbers? Does the 93 mean 1993? I have some other panels in the garage that end in 94GH2, so I am hopeful that those digits indicate the year.

    Paul.

  587. Jeff Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I think that’s correct. The codes go something like this:

    P4 = Machine #4
    108093 = 10 August 1993
    G = PLant Location
    H2 = Hardiflex II

    So, it’s cellulose based Hardiflex.

    Jeff.

  588. Dan Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Reading your responses, great information. Help us out with this one:
    HARDIFLEX B 32 326 91

    Dan

  589. Dan Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I went and got a sample of fibre cement sheet analysed stamped:

    HARDIFLEX B 32 326 91

    AEC Environmental, a NATA accredited lab in South Australia did the analysis and the result was “No Asbestos Detected”.
    Any idea what the letter and number sequence represents?

    Dan

  590. Jason K Says:

    Hi Jeff and all,
    haven’t been here for a long time, have been moving house.
    Interesting article, brand new railway carriages with asbestos discovered, white asbestos (New Zealand).
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-01/kiwirail-pulls-40-trains-after-asbestos-discovery/5292902

    Jason K.

  591. steve Says:

    hi jeff,
    I also am renovating and I have hardiflex sheeting and some sa HARDIFLEX II AB 2225287 and some 2217387 do these contain asbestos? I also have sheets that read HARDIFLEX II AB2234487 MADE WITHOUT ASBESTOS. Any info would be great.
    thanks steve

  592. steve Says:

    wat does the AB stand for

  593. Helen Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    About six months ago we had renovations completed in our laundry.. Unfortunately my husband didn’t realise that the fibro on the walls was asbestos and he drilled out 3 large holes (he had to drill a number of times to create a larger hole)…. He also sanded some of the asbestos… It was only six months later that we had a visitor who identified the problem through conversation. We had it tested and it came back chrysotile only (I’ve been told thats better than brown or blue?)

    Since then I have mopped and wet wiped and mopped the whole laundry and wet mopped and wet wiped pretty much every surface in the house… During the renovations neither myself nor my children were home….

    The whole house has been aired, cleaned and everything in it… But for some reason my thoughts have turned to our front loader washing machine… Do you think it would be possible for the washing machine to be contaminated? My husband said definitely not as it is steel and all fibres would be down the drain… But I’m not sure?

    I have also considered throwing every piece of clothing out in the house and replacing all due to the fact that i don’t know which clothes were put into the same load as my husbands work clothing and worry that they could be contaminated? Not sure if this would be possible though? as i guess the role of a washing machine is to remove dust from clothes not mix it..… Since then though- i have washed other clothing including the children’s more than a dozen times….. Hubby said that throwing all our clothes out would be a ridiculous measure but i just don’t know…

    Do you think i am panicking too much over nothing? the house is clean but I’m only worried about the washing machine and our clothing…

    Thanks

    Helen

  594. Jeff Says:

    Hi Helen,

    It’s a distressing problem you have there and sorry you and your husband had to found out after the work had been done.

    Glad to hear you wiped down all the surfaces to pick up any remaining dust.. well worth the effort even though it was 6 months after the event.

    Washing Machine: I suspect the washing machine would have been contaminated with a small amount of asbestos fibre following washing of your husbands clothes. It’s possible clothes washed in the machine after this could be crossed contaminated with asbestos fibre also. I suspect with each subsequent washing, the amount of fibre would be less and less in both machine and clothes. After 6 months of washing clothes both machine and clothes would virtually free of asbestos fibre. So no reason to throw out clothes.

    Husband’s & family Health: This is the main issue. You best head off to your local GP for a referral to an asbestos diseases consultant who can advise on a long term strategy should any sign of lung disease occur (probably regular blood tests).

    Jeff.

  595. Mick Says:

    Hi all,

    Just started a reno on an old bathroom. Started pulling back the tiles and of course found cement sheeting under the tiles areas. The house was built in the 1940′s however this bathroom was a addition done in either the 80′s or 90′s. My question concerns the what was printed on the back which is as follows:

    “HARDIES VILLABOARD L2102991″ with a possible “AB V2″ after that.

    Does anyone know whether this product code contains asbestos? A search of the internet for that ‘L’number reveals nothing.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Mick.

  596. Jeff Says:

    Hi Mick, I’m no expert at the Hardie codes, but I think the L2 may be the plant code or machine number. The AB V2 may indicate Villaboard 2 (cellulose based). The 91 probably is year date 1991.

    Jeff.

  597. Tammy Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I have what i think is asbestos eaves on my 1972 brick veneer house in sydney we have around 3 damaged panels 2 have been taped over the cracks with duct tape i was checking out the eave which the old hot water system pipe from the old system in the roof the eave has a tiny crack near the pipe is it best we remove them or are we able to cover them up.Sadly we were likely exposed to drilled asbestos cause the roof hot water system worked till about 5 years ago a plumber replaced it with outside one but drilled 3 holes in eaves for the pipes didn’t realise till last year when we had someone out for possible asbestos wall in bathroom which was confirmed as white chrysolite asbestos in lab test we had bathroom wall removed by asbetso company our laundry wall backs onto the bathroom so we have to confirm that as villa board wunderlich so it’s asbestos given the age of the house we will be getting it removed as well as old fibro board next to laundry door next month when we renovate the kitchen and laundry should i get the 3 eaves panels too?

  598. Sue Says:

    Hi there,
    We have found some tilux in our bathroom. Can you please tell me the percentage of asbestos that is in this product and also the type i.e., white(chyrsotile), blue or brown?
    Thank you.
    Sue

  599. Electric Blue Says:

    Our first home (which is now rented out) is a 1968 brick veneer house which has been heavily renovated. I suspected the laundry and eaves contained asbestos as it due to it’s age and wooden battens holding the sheeting together. And after reading some of these comments I suspected it even further as the sheeting was pink. I was even told by a asbestos remover that it would definitely be asbestos as pink sheeting was common back in that era. Unfortunately the ceiling cavity was so dirty that we couldn’t find any markings on the back of the sheets.

    However, we got a sample tested and it came back negative…organic fibres only.

    The lesson I learned is not to try and find the answers on the internet – You can’t. Whilst Jeff gives some helpful advice it’s not a sure way to identify whether or not asbestos is present. If your home is built before 1990 and you can’t find any markings indicating it’s manufacturing date or whether it’s asbestos free get a professional in or get a sample tested.

  600. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tammy,
    The eaves are most likely be asbestos fibro (unless they have been replaced with modern material during 80′s onwards). So yes, have them replaced with modern material while you have the opportunity and rid your house the old asbestos sheeting so it doesn’t pose a an health issue for any future renovations.The Villaboard from that period would also be the asbestos variety so be on alert.

    Jeff.

  601. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sue,
    The Tilux would contain approximately 10% (by weight) of Chrysotile asbestos. Blue and brown asbestos types were generally used in curved asbestos products. Jeff.

  602. Teinelle Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My husband is convinced he is going to die but i think he is being over the top and would appreciate some advice from you….

    For the last 8 years he has driven around in an old 80s model commodore… The car has 6 small holes (5 cent coin size) holes in the back floor (where passengers put there feet)..- It once had an old roll cage that was removed leaving the holes… Recently the holes have been filled in…

    Hubby suffers from anxiety particularly about exposure but won’t listen to me. He has put well over 200,000kms on the odometer of the car driving to and from sydney for work and he worries that during his 8 years of driving that he would have inhaled asbestos from our cars brakes from dust coming through the holes in the floor that will lead him to lung cancer or some other disease…

    Ive told him that he’s being over the top but he needs to hear it from someone else… I said to hubby that it would be no different than driving with the car windows open or riding a bicycle or motorcycle in traffic because most the dust would be blown away with the movement of the car- not find its way through the small holes into the cabin- but for his sanity he needs to hear that he’s being ridiculous from someone other than myself and our local doctor and I’m hoping that you can help…

    Sorry,

    Tenielle.

  603. Jeff Says:

    Hi Teinelle,

    The issue with brake dust mostly concerns mechanics working on older vehicles which have had Asbestos based brake pads fitted and not so much exposure to the vehicle occupants and bystanders.

    Whilst the Commodore was originally fitted with Asbestos based brake linings, it’s quite possible the car has had asbestos free brake linings fitted to it in the early 2000′s (asbestos free linings have been around for quite while now.) This is mostly due to the concerns of mechanics who fit these linings day after day.

    Possible brake dust exposure from holes in the floor would be extremely low I’d estimate, and as you pointed out, driving with an open window is more likely to be the entry point of any dust from the brakes.

    A blood test is available to detect early signs of mesothelioma and asbestosis, so get a referral from your local GP for this.

    Regards,

    Jeff.

  604. Teinelle Says:

    Thanks very much Jeff,

    Yes the car would have had asbestos brakes in it for most of the years that hubby drove it…

    Apparently most of the asbestos from brakes burns up and turns into a non toxic powder, is this true?- I guess thats the reason why most older mechanics are fine… I was also told that the asbestos type used in brake pads was the lesser of risk “white asbestos”…

    But yes, i guess common sense would say that hubby is at no more risk than the average person living in a busy city or breathing in dust from riding a bicycle or motorbike to work in traffic… Surely the dust from brakes wouldn’t travel in the air while the car is moving and make its way through the small holes in the floor at significant quantities to cause harm… Maybe hubby needs to see a specialist in anxiety, not the GP?

    thanks

  605. Teinelle Says:

    The other thing is that surely most cars are not sealed completely from air around the wheels and under the car completely… there must be a lot of cars out there with holes for controls, the gear stick and handbrake, doors and also rusty floors…

    I think the main concern with cars letting in air is actually from the boot seals due to exhaust fumes..

    thanks..

  606. Jeff Says:

    Hi Teinelle,

    As far as I know, the asbestos is not rendered harmless and the dust left behind contains asbestos. Precautions should be taken when servicing the brakes where asbestos linings are fitted. The dust is usually spread around the disk caliper, part of the suspension and inside the wheel. If it’s a drum brake most of the dust will be inside the drum. Mechanics are advised not to use compressed air when cleaning the brakes as this will make the dust airborne. Usually they dampen down the area with a damp cloth or a water spray before servicing. White asbestos is still a dangerous form of asbestos.

    As you say, his exposure is no greater or less than than other motorist getting around in older cars. The air flow through holes wouldn’t be significant I would have thought.

    Also consider air flow direction. Air flow may be *from* the interior to the outside (being sucked out) rather than going from the outside and into the car. A swab of the interior dust can be done and sent for analysis.

    Send hubby for a blood test as I mentioned. This can pick up any early signs of asbestos lung disease.

    Jeff.

  607. Jeff Says:

    Hi Teinelle,

    Most modern cars are manufactured to be well sealed. The main reason is to reduce noise levels and to keep dust and water out of the interior. Exhaust gases as you mention (carbon monoxide) is something definitely needed to be kept out. Car designers spend a lot of time and effort on this aspect actually.

    However, on older cars the sealing often breaks down such as in the rubber door seals and the rubber grommets from the engine bay to the interior which seal around wiring looms, aircon hoses, various other pipes and hoses and through the transmission controls.

    Jeff.

  608. Michelle Mann Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    This site has been fabulous and has certainly educated me more on how dangerous asbestos actually is. We have a very old farm house that we have been renovating, from what I’ve read I’m convinced that all the fibro in the house would be asbestos, the original cottage is solid concrete, but overtime the verandahs have been enclosed with fibro sheeting, the worse thing is that they never insulated! Is it better to just put plasterboard over the top of the fibro ceilings and walls on the inside, rather than try to remove it all? On the outside is it possible to put hebel cladding over the top to try & insulate better, I am trying to avoid too much disturbance, appreciate any advice you may have, Cheers Michelle

  609. Tony Says:

    Hi Jeff, informative site.

    I have a audit check that shows no asbestos present in some sheeting but when the back of the sheet was looked at much later it had a sticker on it stating it contains asbestos.
    is this common? could it be a runout sheet that had a possibility of containing asbestos?
    i will get it retested but is concerning.

  610. John Says:

    Blue and brown asbestos, the most deadly types of asbestos were phased out during the 1980′s.

    The fact that the sheet has a sticker warning of the dangers of asbestos would mean that the sheet probably contains white asbestos, the least deadly form of asbestos.

    The only way to know for certain if a material contains asbestos or not is to get a sample analyzed in a laboratory.

    If the sheeting has a sticker on it warning it contains asbestos, you can pretty much be guaranteed that it does contain asbestos fibers in one form or another, most probably white asbestos aka chrysotile.

    I would be interested in the results of the lab analysis, so if you do get it tested in a lab let me know the results.

    A visual inspection can be difficult, especially if the surface is painted.

  611. Gigi Says:

    Hi, I am wondering if the eaves on a house built in Rockhampton (Bouldercombe) in mid to late 1986 – approx. April – Nov build period, could contain asbestos? Or is it a safe bet the fibro eaves would not contain asbestos given the phasing out dates listed above on this site? Thanks so much for any info given, really appreciate it as testing it is not an option (mother’s house and she won’t let me but I have personal belongings in the roof and there has been holes drilled for an air conditioner and I am wondering if the dust created might be asbestos), thanks

  612. John Says:

    Hi Gigi.

    The eaves could contain asbestos. White asbestos products were not completly removed from sale until 2003. Blue and brown asbestos were phased out during the 1980′s. So there is a chance the eaves could contain asbestos in one form or another.

  613. Daniel Says:

    Hi,
    I have a 1970 house and are renovating the bathroom. On the old the floor under the tiles i found hardiflex, which i thing is cerment version (it had a sticker saying made from “new celrouse” and has no gole ball dimples. Behind the tiles on the wall i found a more flexiable type sheet which has no marking on it and has a sort of pink hue colour now.

    I want to order a skip to take away the renovation materials and worried they well tell me it is asbestos and throw it back it my face.

  614. John Says:

    Hi. To get a sample tested will cost you around $100. This way you can prove to the skip bin company the material does not contain asbestos. However, the material may contain asbestos, given the age of the building, although the material you describe does not sound like asbestos. Though if the skip bin guy decides that the material looks like asbestos, this could cause some conflict.

    My suggestion would be to wrap the material in black plastic, place it on the verge on wooden blocks or pallets, take a photo of the package wrapped in black plastic on the verge and send it to asbestos removal companies. As a guess a company will pick up the package for around $150 dollars. But it is important to send a photo of the job to get a cheap price.

    I have worked removing asbestos for five years now and 95% of the time when called to a pick up job there is a pile of smashed up, unwrapped asbestos, sitting in the back of someones yard. An asbestos removal company, when called to a pickup job will assume this is the case and charge accordingly.

    However if you send a photo of the job, the contractor will realize that they can simple pull up next to the pack, crane it onto the back of the truck and be done in 10 minutes. This saves the contractor having to don PPE and lug asbestos from the back of someones yard. You will get a significantly cheaper price by providing a photo to companies of a pack of wrapped asbestos, on the verge, on a pallet or wooden blocks.

    Also get at least three quotes, some companies will be busy and charge ridiculous rates because they basically do not want need the work, a company that is less busy will charge a cheaper price because they want the job. You will be surprised at the variation in price between companies, so it pays to shop around.

  615. Lisa Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    We recently moved into a house built between mid to late 70s, I don’t have an exact date but I was told by the real estate that the land was sub-divided in 1974.

    I want to get some more down lights into the ceiling and get some new fans installed in the bathrooms. I’ve heard of asbestos in plaster but never come across it. Our previous home was built in 1968 and used horse hair plaster.

    Do you have any idea if it’s possible that the plaster in our 70s home could contain asbestos?

    Cheers,
    Lisa

  616. Lee Says:

    Hello, I was wondering for your opinion. In November we went to a Christmas party on a property that has horse stables. Normally it’s a beautiful day but this particular day it was blowing a gail! We arrived rather late in the afternoon I would say around 1:30/2:00pm and it had been windy all day. Anyway our children went for a horse ride and wore helmets from the stable played on the bouncy castle and played with the animals when someone commented about all the Poland/wattle in the air from all the trees. It was then as we sat under a huge tree that brushed the roof of the stable that I looked up and around to notice that the stable roof was asbestos and in very poor shape. I felt sick to my stomach as we had been sitting under it and it had been so windy! I keep thinking if there was loose fibres /broken pices they would have been blown away in the winds hours before we arrived but I have been worried ever since for our two small children. Do you think it would be much of a risk? We stayed for about 1:5 hours and then left.

  617. Tommy Says:

    Hi John, I was wondering if you could help me to identify whether a material is likely to contain asbestos. The material in question is a cladding board that is highly deteriorated. The material looks layered, and is white. If you do not mind I would like to email you a photo to get your opinion. Thanks.

  618. Jason Kovacevic Says:

    Hi all,
    record fine for illegal Sydney asbestos dumper.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/serial-offender-fined-225000-for-illegally-dumping-asbestos-waste-20140923-10kpko.html
    Regards, Jasco (Jase).

  619. John Says:

    Send an email with photos to perthdemolition@live.com.au

  620. John Says:

    RE Jason: Another strategy to reduce asbestos dumping would be for the government to reduce the amount it cost to dispose of asbestos. In Sydney it costs $400 dollars a tonne to dispose of asbestos waste. Lets hope they reduce the cost of asbestos disposal as well.

    The person in question has dumped 80 tonnes of waste or $32,000 dollars worth of waste, in this one instance. Now he has to pay back $300 per month, admittedly for a long time, but still not much of a deterrent, when he has saved himself $32,000 dollars. Probably got away with it more times than he has been caught.

    So reducing the cost of disposal may reduce the financial motivation for dumping asbestos waste illegally.

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    They don’t have a huge sense of self-preservation, soo don’t get too attached to
    your bots. Some other factors which cause cracked heels include:.
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  622. Kat Says:

    Hi jeff

    Great website, thanks. We are considering moving to a house whose neighbour across the road looks to have an asbestos cement fence. It is in poor condition, unpainted, cracked and soft tree branches rubbing the fence in parts. However the fence is about 70 metres from the house (less if the kids are in the yard). Would this be considered to be a low risk scenario in that if the fence was disturbed most of the fibres would be taken by the wind away from the area?

    Thanks, I hope you can help a bit.

  623. John Says:

    RE: Kat

    It is probably nothing to worry about.
    A hail storm would erode every asbestos roof, fence and wall in the neighborhood, if exposure levels like this were dangerous many people would be ill from asbestos poisoning, however it simply is not that dangerous

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122 Responses to “How to tell the difference between Super Six and Hardifence”

  1. Phil Jenner Says:

    Hi
    About 1980 I erected a fence on my property using super 6 corrugated sheets,many of which I cut with a power saw!
    At the time we had an engineering business in Edwardstown SA and a James Hardie rep regularly visited and One of the questions I asked before ordering was about the Asbestos content! He assured me at the time there was no Asbestos content , The sheets have 7 flutes so do I now assume they have asbestos content?
    regards
    Phil Jenner

  2. Jeff Says:

    Hi Phil, The early profiles of non asbestos fence sheeting had 7 corrugations just like the older Super Six which did contain asbestos, which adds to the confusion. The asbestos free Super Six/Hardifence was manufactured from the mid 1980′s(Like about 1986) onwards begining with 7 corrugations then later with 5 corrugations after Hardies improved it, using a better formula and deeper corrugations. If the fencing you mentioned was installed in 1980 I’d say this most probably contained asbestos.

    However, the only sure way to know, is to take a sample. Is the fence still there?

    Jeff.

  3. Phil Jenner Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Just found your reply!yes the fence isstill present and in good codition. we recently painted it suspecting it was asbestos,
    The problem was bought more to the forefront when my father was recently diagnosed with asbestosis, related to his early employment at BHAS Port Pirie
    Regards Phil

  4. Darren Says:

    Hi Just wondering I own a unit in a large group and the fences are the cement sheets about 300mm wide woven around the posts. Built in about mid 70′s I was wondering if this would contain asbestos? I thought that the asbestos sheets would crack if bent?

    Thanks Darren

  5. Jeff Says:

    Hi Darren, Hmmm difficult to say. Sounds like it has been built from strips of flat sheeting, but the sheeting could be either asbestos or not asbestos. Certainly, if it was part of of the original construction in the 1970′s, then it’s definately asbestos, if it was an addition from the mid 1980′s onwards, then probably non asbestos. For positive identification, you can take a sample for lab analysis

    Jeff.

  6. Ashley Says:

    Hi,
    I’m about to remove a super six fence and replace with a colourbond one, the exsisting fence has markings on the side saying
    “Hardies SuperSix Underlap 03/03/89″ I’m guessing that’s the date on the end but my concern is it is still called “Super Six”

  7. ARP Says:

    An excellent article, and you are doing a great service by raising awareness. In Perth its amazing how many asbestos fences are around, and the rule of thumb i like to use is the general appearance of the fence, other fences in the area, and tell tale fibres around cracks and so on. Its suprising how so many folks are just oblivious to the dangers around them, so this sort of info is great

  8. Adrien Mamet Says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Just wondering if this information can be placed into a PDF format.
    As a licensed renovations builder, we often come across internal linings etc that could be asbestos, however it is difficult to know how to test quickly on site.
    The information here is brilliant, and in a PDf format, we could load it onto an Ipad, as a reference guide.

    keep up the great works

    Adrien
    Eco building Service

  9. Jeff Says:

    Hi Adrien, thanks for reading…that’s a great idea.

    You can create a direct PDF of the webpage by using PDFcreator (free to download, just google it). Once installed, select the page you want to print, then select ‘Print’, then select the PDFcreator as your printer, then ‘ok’…that’s it. PDF created.

    You can also cut past into a word document, then print as a PDF as well.

    If all else fails, I can email you the PDF.
    Regards,
    Jeff

  10. John Says:

    I have an old 1960 house that had an extension built on to it (well before I bought it). The original Super Six roof (assuming asbestos) is still in pretty darn good nick – excellent really but the extension roof is fracturing on the top and ‘delaminating’ badly – I’m assuming this indicates it’s hardifence ?

  11. Jeff Says:

    Hi John,

    I’d love you to send me some photo’s of that. (jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com). As far as I know, Hardifence wasn’t recomended to be used on as roofing material, as it’s inherantly dangerous. You can fall through very easily and get seriously hurt.

    The delaminating is interesting, I’ve not seen that on any Hardifence before, this could be a manufacturing defect perhaps?

    In any case, looks like you’ll be needing to replace it. Count the the number of corrugations and check for any identifying features to see whether or not it’s asbestos based.

    Regards Jeff.

  12. Asbestos sheeting in ceiling - remove or plaster over? Says:

    [...] in the 80s – Super six was 1985. So yes ringtail was joking . . . A good site on fencing is here: How to tell the difference between Super Six and Hardifence | The Asbestos Removal Guide My memory might be wrong, but I think the 6 was for 6" between centres of the corrugations [...]

  13. Maddy Says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this very informative site. I have a few concerns about a house I recently purchased and hoping that you could help me please. The house is about 40 years old (mid-70′s construction) with a shed in the backyard, which the building inspector said it definitely contained asbestos. I had a look and the roof of the shed definitely looks like super six. I also noticed that inside the shed, there were a couple of small holes in the roof. What should I do about these small holes to prevent fibres being released in the air?
    Secondly, we removed some vinyl in the laundry area which the previous owner laid in the late 1990′s. I know that this vinyl does not contain asbestos, however, under the vinyl we discovered older tiles…half the laundry had these old tiles and the other half was untiled, just had cement (the previous owner told me it was cement) but it looks like black cement so not sure if this might contain asbestos? I heard that old style wet area tiles (such as the ones in my laundry) will likely contain asbestos. Could I please email you the photos of the laundry floor?
    Thirdly, my dad drilled three holes in the ceiling outside the house, the ceiling that’s connected to the fascia. He was going to install some downlights, but when I had a look at the drilled holes, to my horror I realised that the ceiling was fibro! So now we have three holes outside with potential asbestos fibres. I rang an asbestos expert and he said that it’s best to just install the downlights to cover the holes up. He also said for my peace of mind I can also paint the exposed fibres in the holes whilst we await for the downlights to be installed, to prevent any fibres possibly being released into the air. Would I be able to email you photos of these please? What’s the best course of action for me to take regarding these holes?
    Thanks, and would greatly appreciate a reply.

  14. Lisa Says:

    Hi were the asbestos fences the same width as the newer hardifence? My neighbour replaced a broken hardifence panel with an old marked fence that has 5 ridges I just want to make sure a sevenridge could not be cut down to fit in with the hardifence. Its also not marked hardifence. Its not dark like blue asbestos but I have read of white asbestos too. It would not worry me if it was left untouched but I have a blue heeler that jumps at the fence when the dog next door barks and a toddler who plays outdoors.
    Thanks Lisa.

  15. Adrian Says:

    very informative site Jeff.
    Wondering if you had any info on the issue of asbestos in floor underlay!
    We regularly come across the old hessian floor underlay used under carpet.
    This hessian is actually recycled, and many people didn’t realise that they were used to transport Asbestos.

    Wondering if you had a page available, or dedicated to other forms of asbestos that renovators could be exposed to!

  16. Jeff Says:

    Hi Adrian, That’s correct. Hessian bags used to transport the raw asbestos to asbestos factories were often recylced… some were recycled into carpet underlay, and other uses for the bags were into covering bananas on plantations. This would be from the 1950′s to 70′s and any old original carpet underlay from this period could be possibly contaminated. This recycling practice seems to have been done Australia wide.

    Jeff.

  17. Is this asbestos or cellulose fibre? Says:

    [...] this first off to see if you can identify it by looking at it, How to tell the difference between Super Six and Hardifence | The Asbestos Removal Guide regards inter Reply With Quote « Hi there all. | – [...]

  18. Rach Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the information, its great to that this information is available. My husband and I renovated our place a few years back and for some reason over the last couple of months he’s been really concerned we may have been exposed to asbestos. We found some asbestos in the wall of the kitchen and bathroom so stopped and had it removed by a professional. However he is now concerned what we thought was cement sheeting under the tiles in the dining/kitchen area may have been asbestos. It’s a little late now to do anything about it but I do recall asking at the time and was told they didn;t think it was as it had a pinkish rather than blue tinge. Have you come across asbestos being used as the underlay for tiles and is it true about the colour?

    Also when we ripped up the carpet we noticed a black stain around the edges of the timber floorboards. We we told it was “black Japan” which was used as waterproofing in the old days. We removed it by basically sanding it off but I’ve been to some sites where they hae mentioned that the black adhesive or glue underneath carpet may also contain asbestos. Just wondering if you have any information on this?

    As I said, not sure what we can do but my husband is extrememly worried so I’ve been trying to do some investigation.

    Thanks

    Rach

  19. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rach, the pinkish tile underlay don’t ring bell for me unfortuantely (if any reader can give a clue here please email me), so I’m unsure about this product.

    The ‘Black Japan’ I suspect *does* contain asbestos, as many similar products did. Likewise, glues that held down vinyl tiles and lino from the old days often contained asbestos to increase bond strength. Please don’t sand the old glue off as it may release asbestos fibres. Regards Jeff.

  20. Rach Says:

    Thanks Jeff, there wasn’t glue on the tiles, they were held down with cement on the cement sheeting. I have some photos of the stuff so might see if we can get it digitally enhanced to see if we can make out anything.

  21. Neville Says:

    Hi i am about to remove about 7 sheets of corregated fencing whish has 11 ridges per sheet is this ashestos sheeting.

  22. Jeff Says:

    Hi Neville, yes that’s asbestos alright. It’s standard profile corrugated sheeting often used in domestic garages and sheds in the 1960/70′s. Sort of like the little brother to Super 6 asbestos sheeting. Handle with care, take all the usual asbestos safety removal and disposal precautions(P2 respirator, disposable overalls etc). Hopefully removal should be a cinch, wrapping and sealing it up in black builders plastic and away with it forever. Jeff.

  23. Stefan Roseblade Says:

    I have just found some sheets that are 81 inches long x 32 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick with 10 or 10 1/2 ridges. it has a coarse grain and has started to flake at the edges. There do not seem to be any markings. Could this be the same as the one above.

  24. Jeff Says:

    Hi Stefan, yes this is standard profile asbestos sheeting. Check my reply to Alan who has the same.

    Jeff.

  25. Jo Says:

    Hi there

    We have been in a rental for 8 weeks and from the UK where we don’t generally have much aspestos. We have just realised that the dividing fence is an asbestos one. It’s in generally good condition but there are a few broken bits here and there. As a hyperchondriac I’m beginning to worry about possible health effects. Should I be worried? Thanks for any advice!!

  26. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jo,
    Sounds like you’re living in Perth. Perth’s sandy soil made asbestos based Super Six particularly popular during the 70′s and early 80′s as it was easy to install and dig in.

    From what I know, if the Super Six fencing is left intact and undisturbed, it does not pose a health hazard. I do suspect though, the occasional asbestos fibre will be released due to weathering but any asbestos monitoring would probably show a negative result. I think the big issue with Super Six fences is storm damage and ignorant DIY backyard developers.

    Also, is the fencing made from asbestos? Later versions of Super Six were renamed HardiFence do not contain asbestos and are cellulose based fibre cement. Check my guide on identifying Super Six.

    Jeff.

  27. Anthony Says:

    Hi jeff, I’ve got super 6 fencing at home and while its been painted there are still a few damaged areas exposed. I can see small bunches of white fibres and just wondering if there would usually be clumps of brown and blue fibres too? I’ve read that super 6 was usually made with white asbestos but have also been told it contained all 3 types. Thanks very much for the helpful site. Anthony.

  28. Jeff Says:

    Hi Anthony,

    It depends on the age of the AC sheeting. AC sheeting from the 60′s (Including Super Six) and earlier would more likely to contain mixtures that included blue asbestos (crocidolite) white asbestos and possibly brown asbestos also. However, later production into to 1970′s will contain mostly white asbestos (chrysotile). Blue asbestos was removed from the mix (due to health hazard issues apparently – eyes rolling). Yes, I think a mixture of the 3 different types was like secret formula at one stage, as each asbestos type had different characteristics such as fibre length, shape and cost. Most manufacturers had laboratories set up to constantly experiment with new ways of making products with asbestos.

    Would be difficult to visually distinguish between the different fibres types, so lab analysis is required to ascertain true composition.

    BTW Brown asbestos was still used in asbestos pipe manufacture into 1980′s, as it gave superior results (stronger and higher pressure pipes could be produced with brown).

    Jeff.

  29. Donna Says:

    Hi Jeff
    We have just replaced 10 panels of super six that says on edge haride’s super six underlap 4/8/1988 would that conatin asbestoes?
    Thanks

  30. Jeff Says:

    Hi Donna,

    This does not contain asbestos and is cellulose based. It’s an early version of asbestos free Hardifence but still retains the ‘Super Six’ trade name and has the 7 corrugations. Early sheeting like this often has a bad habit of cracking up and falling down if not installed correctly. Pine poles between the corrugations work quite well for support I’ve found. I have similar sheeting such as this on my back fence with the Super Six printed on the end.

    Jeff.

  31. Kathryn Manley Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Firstly, this is a great site. Secondly my asbestos fence came down in the storm we just had in Perth. It is definitely asbestos – this was confirmed by a fencing contractor who came to look at the panels which had come down (and by me after reading up on how to identify asbestos panels on your site). The fence was split and broken off in a number of places and some pieces fell onto the outdoor unit of my split system air conditioner. We are keeping our children & dogs away from the area, but should I be worried that asbestos fibres got into the unit? I have not turned it on since for fear of sending thousands of microscopic asbestos fibres into our bedroom via the outdoor unit! I would appreciate any advice on this or suggestions as to who I might ask for advice if not yourself.

    Thank you again for a great & informative site.
    Kathryn

  32. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kathryn, Fencing contractor’s dream storm that. Good to hear you have positively identified the material as asbestos. Not sure if your doing the clean up yourself, but it’s fairly straight forward. You’ll need the P2 respiratory mask, gloves, disposable overalls… all available at the local harware store. Some black plastic sheeting and plastic bags. Wrap all the broken sheeting in black plastic and seal with tape and collect all the tiny broken fragments and put in the plastic bag.

    ‘Wet’ sweep the bricks or concrete, hopefully this water will go down the nearest soakwell. Wipe over any tables or chairs in the vicinity with a damp cloth, dispose of cloth with asbestos waste.

    Aircon: You mention aircon is a split system, which means it doesn’t take air in from the outside unit. The unit on the ouside is just the condenser and sends coolant though pipes into the house which has a separate blower unit. (hence the name ‘Split System’). This is good news, as it means any contamination will stay outside. (unlike an evaporative system which does take outside air). Ideally, the external unit should be cleaned, but may require some dissasembly similar to routine maintenance to clean the dust out. If you were not using the aircon at the time, I suspect there would be very little dust drawn into unit anyway. Don’t spray water directly into the unit, as there is live electricity inside!

    Jeff.

  33. Kathryn Manley Says:

    Thank- you so much for your answer Jeff – that is very reassuring! We won’t be doing the full clean-up ourselves, but when we are tidying up your instructions will come in very handy, to myself and many others I am sure. Thanks again.

  34. Sandy Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My house was built in April 1986 and used super six fencing. the recent storm damaged the fence and we replaced the fence with colorbond.

    Now I’m really worried, my little boy was inside the house when they worked on the fence but we didn’t close the door. and the person do the repair job for us just cut the fence and leave bit and pieces everywhere, I read your article, it said that the production of asbestos super six ceased in 1985.

    Do I need to take the sample test to see if this is still asbestos super six. I just feel so so worried about my little boy, now I don’t let him play outside near the fence.

    Thanks in advance

    Sandy

  35. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sandy,
    If you’re lucky this could cellulose based Hardifence, in which case there is no problem. However, if it’s the original fence from 1986, take into account use of ‘New Old Stock’ie last production asbestos sheets warehoused for a few years, then put onto the market.

    Also, be aware of second hand asbestos sheets *reused* to repair previous storm damage (often asbestos Super-Six sheets were sold second hand in 80′s and 90′s).

    Being your house is mid 80′s vintage, it would be wise never to jump to conclusions about the composition of fence sheeting. Assume nothing about the material until it has been positively identified.

    So you’re going to have to grab some of the left overs for sampling, put them in a small plastic bag and get them lab tested.

    Jeff.

  36. Sandy Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Sandy here again, thanks for your reply. Can you please have a look at this photo. it is the other remaining fence. I saw the marking on the side, it says super six but no year. it only 11:15 at the end, not sure if this is the year. and we just put the metal cap on.

    http://imageshack.us/f/138/img0929c.jpg/

    Thanks in advance

    Sandy

  37. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sandy, I reckon this is cellulosed based Super Six (Hardifence).. and it looks to read: ‘xx/xx/88 Hardies Super Six Underlap 11:15′
    I think this is dated 1988. It’s early profile (7 ridges) sheeting but still retains the ‘Super SiX’ tradename and often had the metal capping on the top but is cellulose based fibre cement. I’ve got similar on my back fence actually. Therefore it does not contain asbestos. Congratulations. Jeff.

  38. Natalie Says:

    Hi Jeff

    I recently had a fencing contractor come to replace my asbestos fencing. In parts of the replacement they have snapped the fencing at the base for whatever reason. There was a section where concrete was attached to it on one side so would have been very difficult to remove but other parts couldn’t see why they didn’t dig it right out? Anyway my main concern is now it has been snapped what can I do? Is this dangerous should I be doing something?

    thanks Natalie

  39. Jeff Says:

    Hi Natalie, Yeah I’m curious to why they didn’t dig it out either. Unless it interferes with neighours garden or similar I’d prefer the old stuff be removed.

    The other aspect is of course breaking the sheets. If the sheeting is modern Hardifence (cellulose based) then no health risks associated. However if the material is asbestos based (such as Super Six), the breakage will release asbestos fibres, which is pretty risky and dangerous

    Call them back, speak to the boss and ask them why the old sheeting was left in the ground. I’m guessing they are just saving time by leaving the old stuff there.

    While you’re waiting, you might want to take some photos for future reference and examine what’s left of the old sheeting to determine if it’s asbestos or not. Always be prepared if a dispute arises.

    Jeff.

  40. Natalie Says:

    HI Jeff

    Yes its definitely asbestos it was identified prior to the job. I phoned him back yesterday and he said some of it was caught up in roots retic etc, he’s going to see what he can pull out. for what’s left that’s exposed ie stuck in the concrete what can I do with the parts that can’t be pulled out. Should I concrete over the top to contain? Not really keen having the loose fibres exposed.

    thanks
    Natalie

  41. Jeff Says:

    Hi Natalie, Yes have them clean up all the broken pieces properly. Should be fine to concrete over the area as a precaution providing it doesn’t interfere with the new fence.

    Jeff.

  42. Sandy Says:

    Hi Jeff.

    Sandy Here again. My house is built in 1986. and I think it is brick wall. Do you think the (Vinyl floor tiles) in the kitchen and the (white plaster) in the wall contain asbestos.

    I think my Vinyl floor tiles is one big sheet blued to the floor.

    My kid plays and hit the wall with his toys often. I see the white plaster behind the paint. Will this pose any health risk?

    This asbestos thing really worries me.

    Thanks in advance

    Sandy

  43. Lisa L Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    After reading all the interesting comments and your great answers here, I was wondering if you could help.

    The asbestos fence in the house we rent on the Gold Coast was damaged in the January QLD ex-cyclone Oswald storms. The fence was broken in several places by a tree falling onto it. Two fencing contractors have attended and confirmed it is asbestos.

    We are still waiting for it to be fixed and I’m wondering what our risk is in the meantime.

    Firstly, it has been raining a lot since the storm damage, so I understand that this lessens the risk of dust etc. However, our dog gets in close to the fence and says hello to the neighbours dog through the gaps in the broken asbestos fence. He then comes inside and walks on our carpet. Could he be carrying asbestos particles in with him?

    Possibly even more worrying is that another section of the fence has had breaks and cracks in it ever since we moved in 3 years ago. We didn’t know it was asbestos. I have now requested an Asbestos Inspection be carried out on the property.

    Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks very much,
    Lisa

  44. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Your kids are pretty safe. Plaster does not contain asbestos and the vinyl tiles (or Lino) from the mid 1980′s onwards is quite unlikely to contain asbestos.

    Jeff.

  45. Jeff Says:

    Hi Lisa, Storm damage and AC sheeting is a real problem, with smashed sheeting going all over the place, it makes for stacks of time consuming work in the clean up. Bushfires and burnt houses made from AC sheeting is even worse!. Sounds like your smashed fence is not too extensive, I’m thinking you can easily make start in the cleanup process yourself while you wait for the contractors. You’ll need a P2 respirator mask, gloves and a plastic bags. Locate and pick up any smashed pieces where the damage has occured and put them in the plastic bags. When the contractor gets to replace the broken sheets include your pick ups with the rest of the waste. The contractor will probably wrap everything up in black plastic and send it off for disposal. In the mean time you can have peace of mind.

    I reckon the dog wouldn’t have any fibres on his/her paws of significance, so is little to worry about. You can get the contractors to replace the other broken section of the fence, if you have the budget, if not then think painting it, this will seal it.

    Jeff.

  46. Lisa L Says:

    Thanks for the great advice Jeff.

    Best Regards,
    Lisa

  47. Gerry Reid Says:

    Hi Jeff
    My house was built in 1985 the fence I removed had seven ripples not thinking on the spur of the moment I ripped it down should I be concerned about it and should I get myself checked out

  48. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gerry, have you got any samples left over? Super Six with 7 corrugations came in asbestos and non asbestos versions (later called HardiFence). How old was the fence?

    Jeff.

  49. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gerry, no need to worry. The plaster doesn’t contain asbestos and the ceiling is very unlikely to contain asbestos either.

    Jeff.

  50. Kevin Says:

    Hi Jeff.

    I’m also worried about asbestos in the plaster wall of my house which was built in 1985 or 1986 I think.

    Can you look at this photo here http://www.flickr.com/photos/asbestos_pix/3426983929/

    Not sure if this is US only or in Australia as well.

    Thanks

    Kevin

  51. Jeff Says:

    Hi Kevin, The Asbestorama’s photostream has some amazing photos of how asbestos was used, simply mind boggling. Looks like lathen plaster walls in the United States can contain asbestos. I haven’t heard of it being present in Australia plaster.

    Fortunately, your Aussie 1985/86 plaster wall is quite safe, so no need to worry.

    Jeff.

  52. Jason Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My house is built in 1986 I think.
    I need to repaint my door, because some paint peeled off. Do you think will there be any asbestos in the paint.

    Is it safe to do some scraping and sanding.

    Thanks

    Jason

  53. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jason, The door should be safe. Usually, the concern with paint in not asbestos, but LEAD. But fortunately, I’m pretty sure lead was phased out in paints by the 1980′s (domestic type paint that is…industrial / automotive paints may still have had lead). In any case, still wear a general dust mask while scraping and sanding.

    Jeff.

  54. JT Says:

    I have just moved to a house that is 2 years old. There is fencing on one side and I think it’s Hardifence but I want to make sure. It has five ridges, metal capping but no markings and does not leave a mark when scratched. The house on he other side of the fence is also about two years old.

    Thanks,

    JT

  55. Michelle Says:

    Hello Jeff,

    Thank you for your wesite, it is good to have some easy to access information.

    My partner and our two children have just moved into a rental property and discovered, through my partner’s uncle who is a qualified Asbestoes remover, that the fencing and some of the capping is asbestos.

    There are sevral spots that are broken, a broken piece that is sticking out of garden and a large hole toards the rear of the fence where there is a large palm.

    I have never lived in a home with this fencing before and dont want to be worry wart, over react or cause problems with the real estate but should I be concerend about state of the fence or is it ok?

    Thank you so much for your help

  56. Jeff Says:

    Hi JT,
    That would be modern Hardifence and is made from cellulose based fibre cement.. therefore not a worry.

    Jeff.

  57. Jeff Says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Not really too much to worry about here, unless you have pieces of
    broken sheeting on a driveway or path.

    Original Super Six fences are still quite common around the suburbs
    and are often found as good as the day they were installed and many have
    stood the test of time, albeit some are slightly dirty.

    Unfortunately, Super Six fences are not indestructable and many
    fences have been damaged, such as having holes bashed through them
    and edges knocked off due to impact of various objects and even cars
    crashing into them.

    Fortunately, this type of asbestos cement sheeting is quite stable
    and resists weathering extremely well. Very few asbestos fibres are
    released during normal survice and when left alone.

    When damage does occur to the fence, yes, fibres will be released at
    the time of breakage, however the broken edges don’t present any
    more of an asbestos release danger than non broken edges. Beware, broken edges may be sharp, so be careful… and…

    The broken pieces may present a danger if they fall onto a driveway, road or path where they can be subject further mechanical action such as being run over by a car! I’ve seen this many times, broken AC sheeting in back alleys or in driveways. Each time a car runs over the broken pieces, this sends up asbestos fibres all over the place. It’s a good idea to pick up these broken pieces immediately, if damage does occur to your Super Six fence.

    Jeff.

  58. Darren Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Again, thanks for providing this info free of charge.

    I am currently purchasing a house in Brisbane that is confirmed to have a Super 6 roof. The building inspector mentioned that its actually a very good product, except for that one thing…of course!

    He’s also said that the internal walls are fibrous and likely to contain asbestos. There are couple of holes in the walls where the door handle has broken through it. I’m guessing these holes should be repaired ASAP to prevent any fibres entering the air.

    Whilst its not a fence question, your knowledge on all things asbestos seems to be extremely high.

    Thanks again,
    Darren

  59. Lawrence Says:

    Hi there

    Little did we know that when we bought our new house in Auckland, NZ our Neighbour had quite an old weathered super 6 asbestos fence running hidden behind our fence. Upon moving in I arranged to have it remover excePt a small remaining piece not on our property. Can you tell me what are the chances of the soil below the fence and close by being contaminated and what if any risk does that pose? I did subsequently dig out the fenceline and disposed of the soil through a contractor. Sadly I’m still concerned as we have a cat that often digs up near the fence and then comes into the house. My concern is for my young children. Any reassurance or advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Lawrence

  60. Scotty Says:

    Hi jeff,
    I share a fence with a neighbour that we are replacing and was wondering if you could advice. Our fencing has a dimple pattern over the entire fence – would this contain asbestos? It has 7 ridges – just to confuse things. Are the dimples used to show it doesn’t use asbestos? I am located in perth if that helps. Cheers
    Scotty

  61. Scotty Says:

    Hi jeff – Scotty again – I think I might need to clarify that the pattern is a raised dot every 18mm over the entire board- not so much a dimple but an actual raised dot about 2-3mm in size.
    Cheers
    Scotty

  62. Jeff Says:

    Hi Scotty, This would be either original asbestos SuperSix or early style cellulose based HardiFence. A few more things for you to check are:

    1. Capping type: Metal, fibro or no capping on the top of the fence.
    2. Fastening bolts & diamond shaped washers (if any)
    3. Manufacturer markings (might be hard to see): Early style HardiFence has date of manufacture and sometimes the words “Does not contain asbestos”
    4. Close examination of any cracks or breaks with a magifying glass. Often you can see fibre bundles sticking out if it’s Super-Six asbestos.

    The raised dot pattern does make me think this is early HardiFence (non asbestos)but this alone is not conclusive… check other characteristics above for more evidence.

    Jeff.

  63. Lawrence Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Any thoughts regarding my question over soil being contaminated below asbestos fences? I know it’s a little ambigious I guess I’m just keen to know what the general run off is from this product once it starts to weather and if it is a concern. If you are unable to answer then no panic. Many thanks.

  64. Scotty Says:

    Hi jeff,
    Thanks for getting back so quickly. I was just looking at your photos again and noticed that the image above the
    Number 3 – titled markings – the one with the I diamond washer and cracked fence, is the same raised dot that I have so I think it’s hardifence – but will get the magnifying glass out to make sure! Thanks for your help!
    Scotty

  65. Jeff Says:

    Hi Lawrence,

    I would class this as low risk. Fortunately Super Six AC sheeting remains stable over long periods and given that Super Six fencing is installed in the upright position this reduces weathering even further. Even with the occasional broken piece of AC sheeting in the ground the risk is still low as the fibres remain locked up in the cement. I would estimate there to be a minute number of fibres in the soil due to initial installation and removal, and these would be few and far between. Since you’ve removed some of the nearby soil, this would eliminate the risk even further. The risk of the cat bringing fibres into your house is virtually nil I’d say.

    Jeff.

  66. Jeff Says:

    Hi Darren, Thanks for that. Glad to hear your building inspector has located all the AC sheeting in the house. Repair the hole in the wall by glueing (Liquid Nails works well) some galvanized sheet metal over the hole. Glueing Hardiflex over the break will also work, but doesn’t look that great. Alternatively you can replace the entire sheet with a new section of Hardiflex.

    Jeff.

  67. Lawrence Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Many thanks for your reply. Feeling a little more reassured although weather conditions here are much wetter causing lichen to grow on the surface of the fence presumably causing it to breakdown further. I have raised the issue with the neighbour but he is old and retired and not that we’ll off. Added to which the remaining piece is just over the fence from our property.
    Lawrence

  68. Lawrence Says:

    Hey Jeff
    Emailed you a handful of images to look at yesterday at jeff@asbestosremovalguide.com
    Many thanks again
    Lawrence

  69. Michelle Says:

    Thank you so much Jeff,

    I feel a lot more at ease after your response.

    The agent has contacted me since and has been really good about it all. The owners are looking to have the fence replaced as soon as they can but at least in the meantime I know I dont need to stress.

    Thanks again :)

  70. Geraldine Says:

    Hi Jeff.

    I am a 49 year old woman and as a child played with asbestos fencing. My parents bought a new state housing commission house in Warwick a suburb north of Perth in the early 70s. There were bits of broken fence in the back yard that we played with. Didn’t James Hardy know of the dangers of asbestos by then and if I get the lung cancer caused by asbestos who can I sue to cover my medical expenses.James Hardy or the West Australian Government for putting the fencing up?

  71. Jeff Says:

    Hi Geraldine,

    Yes, apparently Hardies did know of the dangers, but generally kept it quiet, hence many successfull law suits against them.

    Probably the first course of action would be to visit your GP and have a referral to a specialist, who will do a series of tests, one of which may be a blood test which can detect Mesothelioma biomarkers, which if detected in higher quantities may point to possible Mesothelioma disease.

    You might be able to take action against both Hardies and the former State Housing commission (now known as HomesWest) if you have a valid claim. I guess from a legal perspective you’d have to show how each party was negligent.. which means you’ll be needing a solicitor or lawyer.

    Good luck with this.

    Jeff.

  72. Ray Says:

    Hi Jeff, my new neighbor has demolished the old house and is proposing to replace the existing fence that has all the characteristics of being a Super 6 fence as described in your website. A great site by the way. I have informed them that this may require specialist asbestos removal contractors to conform to regulations. Can you let me know who I can contact to confirm the identification of asbestos material and how this might be safely removed? Thanks Ray.

  73. Grey Says:

    Hi Jeff, yesterday my neighbour cut a piece of super six fencing with a circular saw. He did it 2 m from my sons’ open bedroom window. I am now extremely worried. I have changed all their bedding and wiped over their blinds with disposable cloths. What are the risks and what else can I do? How should I clean the flyscreen? Any advice very gratefully received. Thanks, Grey

  74. Jeff Says:

    Hi Grey, I can understand your concern. There certainly is potential for asbestos fibres to enter your son’s rooms depending on prevailing wind and other factors.

    You should confirm the type of sheeting being cut, if it was the asbestos variety of Super-Six or if it was the modern cellulose based type. Check my identification guide.

    Take some photos of the fence, of your sons room and view from the window and write some detailed notes such as time, date, and description of event. Also estimate the amount of cutting taken place (eg 2mins, 2hours etc), and how much dust was given off. It’s always wise to take notes for future reference if needed and while it’s still fresh in your mind.

    You may want to make some enquires with the EPA or other state Govt department, local council for more advice.

    Hope this helps.

    Jeff.

  75. Jeff Says:

    Hi Ray, you’ll need to check out the fencing contractors with suitable qualifications to remove AC sheeting. Be sure they are suitably qualified to remove more than 10m2 (would be at least a restricted licence holder to remove more than 10m2 of bonded AC sheeting). Most of the contractors should be able to distinguish between the different types of sheeting and advise you accordingly.

    Also, check the general asbestos removalist, they will also do this, but check out their websites first to get an idea for what sort of jobs they are up for.

    Just as with any fencing job, ring around for a few quotes and choose the best one.

    Jeff.

  76. Grey Says:

    Hi Jeff, thanks for your reply and advice. The fence definitely is super 6 based on your website. What extra cleaning can I do to minimize the asbestos dust that my boys will be exposed to? Thanks, Grey

  77. Jeff Says:

    Hi Grey, the wash the flyscreen down with detergent and water. You might be able to leave it in situ and do this (otherwise take it off). While you’re at it with the hose wash down the walls and and window ledge and surrounds. Take note where the run off goes, ideally if you can catch this and dispose of it, that would be perfect.

    For the inside of the room, ultimately a HEPA type vacuum cleaner would the cleaner of choice for the floor and other hard to reach places. Do not use an ordinary domestic vacuum cleaner as the these cannot capture asbestos fibres. HEPA vacuum cleaners may be hired, but make sure it’s clean before you use it.

    Jeff.

  78. Hoss Says:

    I was hoping somebody may have a product with a similar profile to the old super 6 or perhaps a few sheets of the original hardifence with the 7 flutes?

    Am patching a warehouse in Perth and will stick it on and not drill

    Thanks

    Hoss

  79. John H Says:

    HiJeff,
    Your site is very helpful.
    I built our asbestos fences on three sides in 1966/67 (we moved in 1965 and are still here – I’m now 77 and still reasonably fit!)plus put my shed roof (18ftx 13 ft) in about 1969, hand-sawed many of the sheets and used an electric drill to drill the screw holes throughout. One of the fences is now falling apart. Part of it was disposed of some years back as a large tree grew through it, so I now have two sections about 4 metres long, one of which I want to replace now and one later. As I will be disposing of less than 10 sq metres each time I understand I can do it myself.
    My questions are
    1. is there a specified thickness of poly sheeting I’m required to use to contain the broken sheets; if so what is it and will Bunnings or similar have it?
    2. when I take the refuse to the Ranford Road tip do I need to contact them first to let them know I’m bringing it, and is there a special charge for its disposal.
    I think I have the other info I need from the City of Canning website document on removal of asbestos products.
    Thanks
    John H

  80. Lisa Says:

    Hi I moved into a house that has one sheet of white asbestos fence broken in three used in the garden bed as a plant protector by the old tenants. The land lord is having it removed but as The contractor who first looked at it is taking a week to come out I’m worried about the edges spikey bits hanging off it how dangerous are they for my kids who don’t play in the garden yet but have to walk past it ( two meters away) to get to the car? Also how safe will the garden be once its removed can I plant in the garden bed and can the kids play outside how do I get it ready and safe for them? With thanks Lisa.

  81. Jeff Says:

    Hi John, Glad to hear you’re still ok. Standard builders black plastic will be fine. 200um (microns) thickness is the stuff you need. Should be available at most builders supplies.

    From what I read on the City of Canning website here:

    http://www.canning.wa.gov.au/W/waste-transfer-station.html,

    It doesn’t mention anything about about contacting them first. Just take it and drop it off and is free of charge… however it might be wise to ring them just in case this has changed.

    Jeff.

  82. Jeff Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    The sheet in its present state is low risk and not much to worry about, providing you leave it alone until its removed safely. It’s at the time of breakage when most of the fibres as released (avoid breaking asbestos cement sheeting therefore).

    The soil should be ok, make sure the removalist picks and bags any smaller broken pieces of the sheeting (if any) while his there.

    Jeff.

  83. Sonia Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    What is the ruling regarding replacing parts of an asbestos fence that has been damaged? Should all of the fence be demolished and replaced with a safe material, or, if allowed, just the damaged sheets replaced. If replaced what materials should be used.
    Thanks, Sonia

  84. Rob Says:

    Hello Jeff

    Nice info you have here. In regards to the hessian bags being used in hair felt underlay, do you know where I could get some more information on this? Wondering if any of it made it to New Zealand as I have just found out about this and we uplift a lot of it here. Have never had any mention of this in any flooring training or anything which I find odd

  85. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sonia,

    Asbestos based Super Six corrugated sheeting. It’s up to the property owner to decide and depends on how big your budget is. Any broken pieces should be cleaned up and bagged as soon as possible, esp. those near driveways and paths. Providing the remaining fence in still in good condition I’d simply replace the broken sheets. If you have a big enough budget, go ahead and replace the entire fence.

    Jeff.

  86. Jeff Says:

    Hi Rob,

    I haven’t heard of any reports of the raw ex-asbestos bags being exported to New Zealand in the 50′s, 60′s or 70′s and then being recycled into carpet underlay like they did here in Oz.

    Looks like some research needs to be done in this area to confirm the origin of the fibre which was used in carpet underlay in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′in New Zealand. Possibly Aussie manufacturered carpet underlay was imported into New Zealand also?

    Jeff.

  87. Stuart Says:

    Hi Jeff, I thought I should mention that plaster can contain asbestos; particularly if it was used in a wet area of if it was moulded or sculpted. The National Occupational Health and Safety Commission code of practice for the safe removal of asbestos http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/234/SafeRemoval%20ofAsbestos2ndEditionNOHSC2002_2005.pdf has a very long list of materials which can contain asbestos in Appendix A. The Victorian Worksafe handbook http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/9870/Asbestos_Handbook.pdf has a similar list, and some good photographs.

    Stuart.

  88. Jeff Says:

    Hi Stuart, thanks for mentioning this extremely valuable information concerning plaster mouldings and wet area plaster which may contain asbestos. This is something to be mindful of when renovating around such materials… and to make matters worse, these are not as obvious as other asbestos containing products.

    Many thanks again.

    Jeff.

  89. Jessica Says:

    Hi Stuart and Jeff,

    How about plaster on internal wall of the brick house. I’m really worried now after reading this. The paint peeled off and I can see the white plaster become loose on the wall in my laundry room .

    Thanks in advance

    Jessica

  90. Jessica Says:

    I forgot to mention that my house is built in 1986.

    Jessica

  91. George Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great site and responses. I was wondering if you’d be able to help me with an ID as well. We have a side fence that’s just come down in the wind. Its 7 ridges/corrugations that are relatively shallow, capped with metal, and has no joiners and seemed to be in excellent condition. Its snapped at ground level. It has no supplier markings as far as I can see. The broken edges do look more like your cardboard description, with fuzzy edges and a fair bit of layering. We only moved into this house a couple of years ago, so have no idea of the age of the house unfortunately.
    Half the fence has been replaced at some recent point in time – with 5-ridge planks and much deeper ridges. I understand from your guide that this section is definitely asbestos-free. Any advice gratefully received.
    Thanks
    George

  92. Sharon Says:

    Hi Jeff
    This site is an amazing community service. Thanks!

    I feel relieved about the (what I now know was) Hardifence that was recently snapped off by contractor and left in the ground. As a warning to people using contractors to replace fencing, state clearly that you want as much below ground fencing as possible to be removed as well. Last year I paid a squillion dollars for a different registered ‘asbestosis’ contractor to remove a super-six fence and they did a thorough job. I guess you get what you pay for.

    As an aside, for those who have serious concerns that their health has been effected by previous exposure to asbestosis, The Asbestosis Diseases Society of WA http://www.asbestosinfo.com.au/diseaseinfo_adsa-wa.html provides an excellent support service. This is a not for profit group.

    I work with many asbestosis and mesothelioma patients. I don’t know the statistical risk of developing disease from exposure in the domestic setting, but I think minimising that risk for the unwary DIY renovator is by far the safest option. The brilliant pictures, advice and comments as provided above provide a fantastic practical step. Has someone nominated you for Volunteer of the Year??! Please keep up the good work.

  93. Paul W Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    We live in Fremantle on a site that has been developed in the last ten years. Our dividing fence has broken off at the bottom. This fence predates the development but I think its the early non asbestos type. It has supersix stamped on the edge but it has a date of 1988. Can you confirm this to be non asbestos fencing ?
    Thanks for the site and information. Its a God send.
    Thanks in advance
    Paul W.

  94. Jeff Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Correct. This is non asbestos based fence sheeting. I’ve got some on my back fence exactly the same which I installed way back in 1988 myself.

    Jeff.

  95. Paul W Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks again for that. I have attached a photo to an email I sent you. I took it today showing the sheet edge just to confirm the situation. I am happy its not asbestos. I’ve been drilling holes in it for years !.
    Regards
    Paul W.

  96. Tony Says:

    Hi Jeff, great site. We had a run-away trailer break off the end of a sheet of what looks like Asbestos fencing. There are 7 ridges on it, and in some of the broken off pieces what looks to be fiberglass fibers. I tried the nail test, but no marks came out, so am not entirely sure.
    Tony

  97. Tony Says:

    Also, there’s no screws in it

  98. Tim Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Great site! Quick question: If the fence has metal capping is it guaranteed to be asbestos free?

    Cheers

    Tim

  99. Amy Says:

    Great article. Would love to share on Facebook. I agree with earlier comments, re. people in Perth are completely oblivious to asbestos containing products and it is EVERYWHERE. Could you make it so one could ‘share’ this article on social media PLEASE? Thanks in advance

  100. Cori Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Just wondering if our side fence has asbestos in it. Its hard to tell as it has like rectangle corrugations not curved like your pictures. Its a 70′s home and I know the back fence was asbestos as we had it removed and it looked like the above pictures. It also has a capping but its a L capping with a side only one side not a U with lips on both sides.

    Thanks

  101. Catherine Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    We recently bought a house in Perth in an area with a lot of asbestos houses. Our house is only 10 years old. The boundary fence was replaced some time ago apparently, but when I was digging in the garden and placing rubble in a skip, they said there were 3 small pieces of asbestos fence in the skip I filled. I have found some more suspicious fragments in the garden up to about 12cm diam. What should I do?
    Thanks a lot,
    Catherine

  102. Catherine Says:

    The fence further along the same fence line has 5 ridges and metal top so that looks like hardy fence at least

  103. Catherine Says:

    The fence further along the same fence line has 5 ridges and metal top so that looks like hardy fence at least.

  104. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tony, Accidents like this happen all the time with asbestos & cement fibro. No screws plus 7 ridges sounds like later cellulose based material from the later 1980′s where spring clips may have been used (often concealed under metal capping). Identification of the material can be difficult for those not familiar with the stuff. Best bet is to assume it is asbestos and clean it as soon as possible. Spray it all down with water, put on a P2 mask and collect all the broken fragments and put them into a plastic bag. Any larger sections should be wrapped up in black plastic. Ring your local council for the nearest asbestos disposal site, if you’re lucky they might have toxic waste collection day where you can dispose of it for free.

    Jeff.

  105. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tim, Metal capping on the top of corrugated fibro fencing is a good indicator that it’s at least mid 1980′s onwards construction…so probably asbestos free. But having said that, be on the look out for metal capping which has been retro fitted to existing asbestos Super-Six fences to make them look better.

    Here’s pic of such:

    Super Six fence with metal capping

    There are two widths of metal capping 50mm (early type) and 80mm (later type). Early type capping was an optional extra for appearance sake, whilst later 80mm was an integral part of the fence construction. The 50mm metal capping could also be fitted to earlier asbestos based Super Six and I’ve seen few fence where this has been done to match up with existing new Hardifence.

    Jeff.

  106. Jeff Says:

    Thanks Amy. Regards Jeff.

  107. Jeff Says:

    Hi Cori, Your description sound likes the fence is made from Hardies Shadowline. Yes, it’s asbestos based fibro cement. A popular alternative in the 1970′s to the regular corrugated Super Six fence sheets. The sheets usually have a supporting timber frame and posts as they were not self supporting. L capping on top is also asbestos and is another one of Hardies asbestos shape sections of the time. I still see the occasional Shadowline fence around.

    About Shadowline:
    Shadowline was an external wall cladding with fancy ridges to make look a whole lot better than the plain flat fibro sheeting. Many weatherboard houses in the 1970′s had their weatherboards ripped off and replaced with Shadowline (or one of the other types of fancy AC profiles). It looked good, was easy to install and was virtually maintenance free apart from regular painting. Was also used as fencing with a supporting frame.

    Jeff.

  108. Jeff Says:

    Hi Catherine, broken fibro fragments are pretty common in older areas, particularly where previously there has been fibro houses, garages and fences. Despite the redevelopment of older houses, demolition and site clean up often leaves small debris is the soil such as this.

    Your best bet is to gather up the pieces as they come along and bag them for future disposal. Any deeply buried pieces are best left there. Don’t dipose of in the skip bin also… as you’ve found out. Ring your local council to see if they have toxic waste disposal collection point.

    Jeff

  109. Gareth Says:

    Hi Jeff

    Hoping you can help. Im in Perth and have a fence which was damaged by a neighbour’s tree/plant. I’ve prompted that we need to get it fixed and although I appreciate that he would like to do it as cost effective as he possible (himself) I have concerns about the health impacts if the proper processes are not followed.

    My specific question relates to the licenses that are necessary, and hoping that you may have had experience. Do you know if there is clear legislation around the removal of asbestos products if they are (the important bit) part of a structure > 10m2? We only want to replace 2-3 broken panels, and have been advised by a representative of the dept of commerce that if the items that are being removed are PART of a structure > 10m2 that a licensed individual needs to be involved.

    Also if there are any contractors that can do this work SAFELY can you please direct me to your site. So far my experience in trying to get a contractor to help with this has been a disappointment. One set of contractors being too busy to get to our location the other suggesting that all the regulation surrounding this issue is just a pain in the A#$% to deal with and that he would prefer to use power tools *cringe*.

    Anyway looking forward to your response, and hoping that you reply before too long.

  110. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gareth,

    If you’re removing more than 10m2 of bonded asbestos (non friable) then you’ll require at least a restricted licence.

    I’m pretty sure this is covered in the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations but also may have relevant sections in the Health (Asbestos) Regulations also.

    Also check this: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/PDF/Infokits/Asbestos_in_construction.pdf

    I’m estimating your 3 sheets will come in under the 10m2, so you should be able to remove these yourself with the help of your neighbour. Use protective clothing and P2 dust mask. Avoid any breakages, but if you do, hit it with PVA glue / water solution immediately. Digging will be the hardest part and hopefully the nut and screw will be easy to undo. Avoid sliding the sheets on one another when stacking. Certainly, don’t use power tools.

    Wrap sheets in black plastic and seal up with strong tape. Disposal sites at RedHill & Henderson but you might want to ring your local council for other options.

    Alternatively, ring around for quotes from reputable fencing contractors who also do asbestos removal. Check they have the correct qualifications and quiz them how they intend to do the removal of old sheets and how they dispose of them… and of course the price. You might find despite the higher cost, it’s worth going this way.. but up to you and your neighbour.

    Jeff.

  111. Gareth Says:

    Thanks for responding quickly Jeff.
    I understand that just the 3 sheets will be under 10, but they are part of a bigger structure, a 20m fence. I understood from dept of commerce that the legislation should be interpreted that if removal is part (3 panels part of 20m fence) of the bigger structure, that a license is required. This is to avoid, a little being removed, then a little more, then… Is this right, or have we been given bad info?

  112. Jeff Says:

    Hi Gareth, I’ll check it out. Jeff.

  113. John Bennett Says:

    Jeff,
    This has evolved into a valuable asbestos Q & A site. My question(s), house next door 1960s built has ac soffit – verandah linings and the our dividing fence is definitely super six of that era. Likely now to be sold as a knock down. In our area I have observed house demolitions being completed, including the sand raked to a depth of 1 – 2 metres in a matter of days, apparently with no special precautions for asbestos removal and dust suppression. What can I as a neighbour do to ensure that the likely demolition does not expose neighbours to asbestos related health risk ?
    John.

  114. eric Says:

    My question relates to the replacement of a broken super six roof sheet.
    Is there a non asbestos sheet available that will fit the old super sixe profile and what is the policy regarding older super six sheeting?
    Does the entire roof have to be replaced with an alternative or if the sheets are in tack can the roof remain as is?

  115. Jeff Says:

    Hi Eric,

    Old asbestos sheeting cannot be sold, as it’s illegal in most areas to do so. Hardifence 1 (asbestos free sheeting with 7 corrugations) should have the same profile as the original Super Six, but you might find it hard to obtain. Also it’s not as strong as the original Super Six making it extremely dangerous for roofing applications (fall through)

    A few options

    * Glue the old sheet back together with something like Selleys liquid nails.
    * Try moving the broken sheet to an area which is not as likely to get so much rain, and put the intact sheet where the broken sheet was.
    * Replace the whole roof with corrugated zincalume

    Extreme caution must be taken when working on any asbestos roof due the the fragile nature of the sheeting. Fall through is the immediate danger followed by risk of asbestos dust inhalation. So use all protective safely gear when doing this.

    Jeff.

  116. murray Says:

    Hi Jeff not sure if you can help I have a 7 ridge fence super 6 ? not sure vintage but about 1980 with a metal cap top and the same suporting at the botton eg posts every 2 metres and only rails as suport The Lengths are 1170 and 1800 . A broken peice has white hair like fibers sticking out . The house is in Auckland New Zealand

  117. John Says:

    The age of the sheeting, the number of ridges, the presence of fibers and lack of bumps on the back of the sheet, all indicate that the sheeting you have is asbestos sheeting.

    The non asbestos replacement was made with thousands of tiny lumps on the back side of the sheet, also 95% of non asbestos sheeting has five ridges, not 7.

    There was non asbestos sheeting that was made in the same profile as the asbestos sheeting for a few years after asbestos products were phased out, it is not produced any more and it is unlikely that much remains as it is not durable and most of it would have to have been replaced. Non asbestos sheeting made in the same profile as asbestos sheeting would be rare to find in backyards now days.

    On age alone, it is unlikely that the fence you have is a non asbestos fence, combined with the other factors you have mentioned, i would say it is highly probable that your fence is asbestos.

    Non asbestos sheeting will not have white hair like fibers, the white hair like fibers you are looking at are asbestos fibers.

  118. Dale Says:

    Hi there Jeff, I was hoping you could help me also.

    Since moving into this house I have asked our stupid real estate to repair our broken fence. Three and a half years I have lived here. My kids kept playing with the pieces and going in and out over to the neighbours yard. They sent out a heap of people to quote the fence repair and tree removal but the real estate said it was going to be too expensive. They sent out some guy to put up a bit of chicken wire, however branches kept falling from our tree and smashing the fence into more and more pieces. So finally they sent out people to remove the tree late last year. At least 5 companies came quoted the job. They smashed down part of the fence, drove trucks around my yard, chopped down the tree and drilled out the stump. The trucks were just running over the bits. It was so goddamn dry and dusty here right up until recently when it started to rain this. They did this around September/October. Its now mid June that I have had the bits of fencing, the huge hole in my fence and all the crap from the drilled out stump in my backyard. They just left it like that. I have been waiting for them to repair the hole but nothing was happening. The real estate told me I had to repair it myself. So I strung up some fencing wire and hammered some broken bits of fense around it to keep the dog in. I have been writing and complaining the entire time to the real estate. They sent a heap of people to quote it but it wasnt until yesterday that anyone came around.

    I got a call from the fence repair man saying he is coming today to finally fix the fence. Then he said to make sure that my kids are at school because the fence is asbestos!! I had absolutely no idea. I am 35, I grew up in a newish house and everyone called our fencing asbestos even though it wasnt. My mother said it had no asbestos as it was banned but in the past it used to, however people still just call it asbestos. I knew houses had asbestos in the walls but I just assumed the fence was cement. I am so mad, my kids have been playing around that fence for years, there were all broken pieces lying about which they have used for cubbies. I kept taking it away from them and telling them off but you know what boys are like. I have been blowing the dust around with an electric blower, the kids have been digging all around that area. The dog has been trampling all that crap inside. Surely the real estate knew the fence was asbestos. Why didn’t they say anything when I wrote letters about the fence so many times! They have had so many people come look at the fence and the tree for quotes. They should have told me. I dug out my condition report and it does say it is an asbestos fence, I just simply didn’t see it on there. It was one word in a wad of paper. The fence removal guy said that there is hardly any risk. I rang the council and they said there was a very small risk. My kids were picking this crap up and playing with it for three and a half years. Do you think there is a risk? I want to move out and feel they should let me out of my lease. I feel they are all down playing it.

  119. John Says:

    The risk of developing an asbestos related disease is directly proportional to the amount of fibers inhaled. The amount of fibers inhaled from broken fencing would be minimal, if the children were not breaking the asbestos.

    When the asbestos sheeting was broken most of the fibers would have been blown away into the environment, some would have remained on the premises, the amount remaining would be very small. The broken pieces of sheeting would have been fairly safe to handle, after they had been broken. At the time of breaking, fibers would have been released into the air and possibly breathed in. Hail storms can also erode asbestos sheeting releasing fibers into the environment, so it would be almost impossible to avoid asbestos fibers, as they are essentially everywhere, although in low concentrations. A statistical example

    ‘Thousands of tons of asbestos were used in World War II ships. There were roughly 4.3 million shipyard workers in the United States during world war 2. For every thousand workers about fourteen died of mesothelioma and an unknown number died from asbestosis.’

    So about 1.4% of people in this group died from asbestos exposure. This risk is from occupational exposure from many years of working with asbestos unprotected in an enclosed environment.

    Asbestos is present in the environment, nearly all soil in any house or houses near an asbestos roof or fence would contain asbestos fibers in varying amounts. Asbestos sheeting erodes over time releasing fibers mainly due to wind, hail and rain.

    If low concentrations of fibers were deadly there would be vast sections of the population dying from asbestos related illnesses, however this is not the case. Currently 30 people in a million die from mesothelioma, cancer caused from asbestos exposure, this includes Whitenoom workers and people who worked with asbestos without protective equipment installing asbestos in an occupational setting for many years.

    At the end of the day there is not a lot you can do after exposure, however smokers who have continued the habit after occupational exposure are 80 times more likely to die from an asbestos related illness than a non smoker with similar occupational exposure.

    Although the risk sounds small children and females are more susceptible to the effects of asbestos, statistically speaking. Asbestos exposure is much like smoking, some people who smoke for 50 years do not get cancer, others who never smoked and simply breathed in a smokers fumes while working at a bar part time end up with cancer. So the real risk to a given individual is hard to guess, from any amount of exposure

    Avoid further exposure to asbestos and avoid smoking this is the only thing you can do, i personally would say the risk is low, but not zero.

  120. Melinda Says:

    Hi, i have a photo of a fence, are you able to tell me if it was Asbestos??
    Melinda

  121. Mark Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I am having new sewerage and storm water pipes laid in my back garden. The contractors have found asbestos sheets buried under the soil, they have (safely) removed the material they exposed. They advised that the remaining sheets should remain buried as it’s best not to disturbe them.
    We have obtained advice from a couple of asbestos removal companies. The advice differs from removing the sheets and 2 – 3 tonnes of soil on top of the sheets (at a significant cost) to leaving the sheets buried and laying clean topsoil on the existing soil.
    I have 2 young children and am concerned regarding being exposed fibres in the atmosphere whilst the contractors have being digging the soil.
    What is you advice regarding the absestos sheets and soil in order to minimise the risk to my family’s health?

  122. John Says:

    You can get the soil analyzed in a laboratory, this is the only way to know for sure what concentration of asbestos fibers is in the soil.

    If there is hundreds of small broken pieces of asbestos throughout the soil, this may indicate a higher risk, because the asbestos sheeting was smashed during the removal process meaning fibers were released, which could have caused contamination of the soil.

    If there are numerous large unbroken sheets, this would mean a lower risk of the soil being contaminated, the sheets have been removed correctly. Asbestos sheeting by itself does not really pose a significant danger, it is when it is broken that it becomes an issue, so having asbestos buried on your property would probably be less dangerous than having an asbestos fence or roof on your property, if the sheeting is intact.

    So my advice would be get your soil tested, if contaminated heavily, your best would be cover with a few meters of clean soil, if possible.

Asbestos Sampling

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11 Responses to “Asbestos Sampling”

  1. Duncan Says:

    Nice guide and at least you have credited me for using my photos. May I suggest you wrap your pilers with a wetwipe when sampling AIB. Although the pilers should be smooth headed using a wetwipe makes things even cleaner. To seal raw sample edges I use those squeezy paint sample tubes or Tippex (Correcction Fluid)

    Cheers

    SLD

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for the tip and great photos Duncan :-)

    Jeff.

  3. DEBRA mcGRATH Says:

    hi,
    I have just moved into avery old home. the ceilng is laid in long decorative panels of plaster-board looking stuff. in the last few days, my cat haas been scratching FURIOuSLY..I assumed it was fleas or stress. but tonite MY skin is itchy and so uncomfortable, I cannot sleep..is this a symptom of asbestos filings in the air..or is it just he local grass we walked in today????

  4. Jeff Says:

    Hi Debra,

    You can rest easy, plaster board does not contain asbestos, and the symptoms you describe are not typical of asbestos related diseases. Asbestos related illnesses usually take many years to develop (up to 20 years in some cases) and primarily affects the lungs and breathing function.

  5. April Says:

    Hi

    I was just wondering if fibreglass would have the same effect as asbestos? Thank you for this wonderfully informative website.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Hi April,

    Fortunately, fibreglass doesn’t have the same devastating effect on the lungs as asbestos does. This is due to differences in the size and shape of the asbestos and fibreglass particles.

    Asbestos particles have a bad habit of lodging into the lung tissue, eventually leading to a build up of scar tissue, and then possibly cancer.

    Fibreglass, on the other hand, tends to be taken care of by body defense mechanism, the macrophages, and are eventually cleared out of the lungs.

    However, inhalation of fibreglass particles is best avoided as it can cause irritation to the nose, trachea and lungs. Suitable protection should always be worn when dealing with fibreglass such as a dust mask along with safety glasses and gloves.

    Jeff.

  7. Christian Sullivan Says:

    Hi all,

    I moved into a house about two months ago and there were two cracks in the bed room walls one about two feet long ang one about one feet long . As soon as I thought it was asbestos I covered it up with plastic and tape and now with MDF.I dont know when the cracks where put there .

    I am very concerned that there is still fibres on floor or in the air, this possible or hard to say ?
    Thanks Christian

  8. Jeff Says:

    Hi Christian, Thanks for reading. The health risk associated with the cracks in the asbestos wall is relatively low, and even further reduced now you’ve sealed over the crack.

    To further reduce the risk, you can wipe down all surfaces where dust might gather in that room with a damp cloth. Wet mop the floor if you can.

    If the floor has carpet on it, don’t use a domestic vacuum cleaner as this will definately stir up any dust and asbestos fibres. To properly vacuum, use one with a HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air). Asbestos fibres pass straight through domestic vaccums.

    Depending on the your situation and budget, you may choose to renew the carpet entirely.

    Jeff.

  9. Sal Says:

    Hi there,
    I once trilled a hole in a asbestos cement sheet. (not knowing it) and that was the one only time.
    I am stressing a little bit about it. Can this only exposure may cause problems with my health?
    Thank you so much.
    Sal

  10. Jeff Says:

    Hi Sal,

    Any exposure to asbestos fibres is not good. One thing in your favour is the exposure was short… but that said, there has been cases where short exposure to asbestos has resulted in lung disease (either asbestosis or mesothelioma).

    On the other hand, my father trimmed many sheets of asbestos super six in the 1970′s with an angle grinder without protection and was also a smoker (smoking increases the chances of lung disease when combined with asbestos exposure)… and he is still going strong at 81 years old and no signs of lung disease.

    Jeff.

  11. Sal Says:

    Thanks Jeff. I feel a lot better now! Cheers

Do It Yourself Asbestos Removal for the Home Renovator

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10 Responses to “Do It Yourself Asbestos Removal for the Home Renovator”

  1. John Finlayson Says:

    As of 1 June 2010 the laws on Asbestos removal changed requiring operators to be Licensed.

    Refer to http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/WorkSafe/Content/Services/Certification_registration_and/Asbestos_removal_licence_No_3.html

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for that info John.

    Jeff.

  3. Tony Cappadona Says:

    Hello, Thanks for your article. I wish to remove a garden shed lined with asbestos, as well as corrugated asbestos roof. I am situated in SE Melbourne. Where can I take the asbestos to for disposal? I believe it needs to be on a pallett and wrapped in black plastic is that correct?

    Regards
    Tony

  4. Jeff Says:

    Hi Tony,

    Contact your local council, they should be able to point you in the right direction. If you’re lucky they might have a asbestos clean up day where you can dispose of your asbestos for free.

    Jeff.

  5. Shaun Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for the article; probably a silly question but what is the difference between friable asbestos and bonded asbestos?

    I’ve tried ringing a few local asbestos removal companies (such as: http://www.accessasbestosremoval.com.au) but I haven’t been able to get straight answers from anyone.

    Thanks!

  6. Carol Newlyn Says:

    Hello
    I am a disabled pensioner and I live in a rural area in QLD I need to have my bath removed(because I keep on falling out of it)and when I asked a builder about a quote he said I had Tilux and nobody is allowed to remove it but someone who is qualified can. He said he wouldn’t touch it. Can you tell me what I must do to remove it and dispose of it in a safe manner because if no builders in the area will do it I might have to do it myself. Thankyou for your time

  7. Jeff Says:

    Hi Carol, Sorry to hear the builder couldn’t help you, but I’m pleased the builder correctly identified the asbestso based Tilux and exercised caution. Quite often builders are not so knowledgable when it comes to older asbestos based products.

    Probably the best option would be to have a builder with an asbestos removal licence come in and do the job… however as you mention this may not be possible due to your remote location.

    You can remove Tilux yourself providing the total coverage is less than 10m2 as per QLD laws, being a bathroom this might just be under the limit. Another aspect of Tilux is, it is often screwed on with brass screws with an aluminium joiner. This makes removal quite easy, and if your lucky, sheets will come off intact and unbroken. Be aware though, sometimes Tilux is glued to the timber frame which *does* make it difficult.

    You’ll need to do some prep work first. You’ll need a roll of black plastic. The floor preferable should be lined with black plastic and stuck down with duct tape to catch any debris though being a bathroom you have the option of washing it down afterwards. You’ll need some basic hand tools, screw drivers, jemmy / pinch bars, cold chisel, hammer etc.

    Safety gear: disposable overalls, P2 mask, gloves, boots, glasses, PVA water solution and sprayer. Bathroom door should be closed and sealed while work is in progress.

    Also a disposal plan, such as a toxic waste skip bin, needs to be taken care of.

    Sheets should be wrapped in black plastic as they are taken off and any broken edges sealed with PVA. Use the duct tape to seal the sheet in the plastic.

    Seal the exposed wooden beams with PVA mix and wipe down as many surfaces with damp cloth as possible.

    Finally, wrap up any plactic on the floor and dispose of it along with the asbestos sheeting. Wash / wipe down the floor. Job finished.

    The secret to a successful and safe asbestos removal is always good planning.

    Jeff.

  8. Ivan Colaco Says:

    Dear Jeff

    Thank you for a simple matter of fact set of instructions.

  9. tammy Says:

    Can outside siding be removed by owner ?

  10. tammy Says:

    Sorry not much details. A contractor Said,Just put new siding on top of your house. But, It don’t take much to break it. So, we want to remove it! So, can we do that ?

Excellent Asbestos Removal Videos for the DIY Home Renovator

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5 Responses to “Excellent Asbestos Removal Videos for the DIY Home Renovator”

  1. Brian Sketcher Says:

    Hardiflex and Hardie plank didnt stop containing asbestos till late 1983- latest I have found it was date stamped 11-83
    But this is a good idea having video of DIY jobs related to asbestos.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for that info Brian :-)

  3. ARP Says:

    One danger I have always had great concerns about, is the lack of decent PPE masks available from places like Bunnings and so on. Oftentimes I find these overpriced masks do not fit the face adequately, so I would most strongly suggest to anyone to always get the best mask possible and preferable get hold of a plastic anti static suit that does not hold onto any fibres when removing

  4. ml Says:

    Learnt a lesson – just because a council officer says the asbestos sheet has to be wrapped in parcels
    that are aprox 20 kg and can be manually handled or they talk about fitting in a 6 x 4 trailer don’t believe you have to break up asbestos sheets into small pieces to fit exposing yourself to risk from the airborne particles. Spend a bit more on plastic, and wrap the whole sheet up intact. They can still lift a whole wrapped sheet.

  5. David Flynn Says:

    Dave 8181,
    Informative and helpful for diy work.Thanks for the education.
    The kit price is excellent seeing it includes disposal cost. I wonder if other councils do this.

Standard Corrugated Asbestos Sheeting

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  1. kathryn Says:

    I have these asbestos corrugated sheets as the roofing of my 1950′s sheds. They have numerous holes and there is dust under the sheds. Are they breaking down? How stable is this fibre board? If I just leave them in place is there any health risk. I store all my garden netting, shade cloth and garden needs etc. in the sheds. Thanks, kathryn

  2. John Says:

    RE KATHRYN – All asbestos sheeting deteriorates, the holes show the places where the erosion is the worst. Painting the sheeting will provide a temporary measure to stop any further erosion. Where ever asbestos sheeting is present in Australia, it will be eroding, releasing fibers into the environment. The chances of developing health problems for a small amount of asbestos exposure is small, but not zero.

    If environmental and low level exposure to asbestos fibers was very dangerous, there would be vast sections of the population suffering from asbestos related illnesses, but that is not the case. The vast majority of cases can be linked to people working with asbestos without adequate protection.

    There are however a few cases where there was no known exposure can be pinpointed, these cases are potentially due to environmental exposure.

    Shade cloth would be excellent at trapping asbestos fibers, same with any other similar materials, carpet, clothing, netting. How much asbestos fibers are trapped in the material can be assessed by submitting a sample to an asbestos laboratory.

Asbestos Beyond Australia: Photos From Overseas

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  1. Brian Turner Says:

    Howdy there,

    I was reading through your blog and really enjoyed this post in particular. I am an environmental health and toxic safety blogger and had a quick question regarding asbestos. Could you please email me? Thanks!

    Brian

How to Choose Your Asbestos Removal Contractor

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What happens when asbestos gets in your lungs

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D.I.Y Removal. Tools,Techniques and P.P.E.

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D.I.Y Disposal Sites, Regulations, Contact Details and Cost. Perth, Melbourne, Sydney.

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