National Asbestos Awareness Month

To mark National Asbestos Awareness Month this November, the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities* offer some TOP TIPS to help home owners, renovators and tradies safely manage asbestos in the home. National Asbestos Awareness month is about raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos and how to safely manage it.

Asbestos products can most likely be found in any Australian home built or renovated before 1987 even brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes. It is very difficult to tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them. Asbestos becomes a health risk when asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in. So, it is important for home owners and renovators to be aware of how to safely handle and dispose of asbestos.

Follow these 4 Top Tips 

Be aware – is it there?

  • If your house was built or renovated before 1987, it is highly likely to contain asbestos. Asbestos can occur in all sorts of places in the home, but especially in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Get more information about where it can occur.
  • If you’re not sure, then play it safe and assume that you do have asbestos.
  • If you want to be certain, then engage a Licensed Asbestos Assessor to tell you.

Be cautious – no go, until you know! 

  • Treat all products containing any amount of asbestos as potentially dangerous if disturbed, and don’t DIY it. Protect yourself and your family and use a Licensed Asbestos Removalist instead. They have the proper training to deal with asbestos safely.
  • If you do decide to DIY small amounts of bonded asbestos, then make sure you know what to do and are prepared with the proper personal protective equipment. If you are a tradie then have a read of this brochure first.

Be safe – safely dispose, don’t expose

  • Check the rules and dispose safely! It is critical that asbestos waste is wrapped properly and goes to properly licensed landfills, so that it does not cause a health risk to people in the community. It is illegal to dump asbestos waste.
  • You can find a list of landfills that can accept asbestos waste here, but always call ahead in case you need to book a time to drop it off.

Be curious – if in doubt, find out! 

  • Call the 1800 Asbestos Hotline (1800 272 378), which provides free advice and guidance on asbestos-related issues and is a central point of contact for all asbestos enquiries in NSW.
  • If your enquiry is about asbestos waste disposal then call the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555. Or, visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au for a large range of information about asbestos and how to handle it. 

*NSW has had a focus on cross-co-ordination of asbestos issues since 2011, when the Heads of Asbestos Co-ordination Authorities (HACA) was formed, following a 2010 report by the NSW Ombudsman. EPA is now leading HACA.

Draft Asbestos Waste Strategy 2018-22

The NSW Government is committed to protecting people from poor asbestos management practices. The EPA is seeking feedback on its draft NSW Asbestos Waste Strategy 2018-22 which proposes innovative measures to reduce illegal dumping and unsafe disposal and promotes lawful and appropriate disposal of asbestos waste.

Have your say

You can submit your feedback online.

There will be multiple opportunities to provide your feedback on this draft strategy by 20 November 2018. This website will be updated regularly with more details about the strategy, consultation events and opportunities to provide submissions. Your feedback will help develop the final version of the NSW Asbestos Waste Strategy 2018-22.

To provide feedback, you will need to disclose your identity and/or your organisation’s identity. All submissions will be published on the EPA’s website unless you identify in your submission that you do not wish the content to be released.