Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals which, were used extensively in building materials in Australia from the 1940s to 1980s. When in fibrous form, asbestos can be easily breathed in and become trapped in the lungs, increasing the risk of several types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Due to these health risks, asbestos building products were phased out during the 1980s and eventually banned in 2003. If your home was built before 1990, it's likely to contain asbestos. If the home was renovated between 1990 and 2004, it may contain asbestos.
Asbestos-containing materials remain an ongoing risk to the Australian community and environment as more than 4,000 people die each year from asbestos-related disease, and it is estimated that one in three houses in Australia contain asbestos.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is delivering programs on behalf of the NSW Asbestos Coordination Committee (NACC), as well as leading coordination across government, to collaborate and coordinate a whole of government approach to asbestos safety and management.
The aim of the NSW Asbestos Waste Strategy 2019–21 and NACC is to improve asbestos management and minimise the impacts of asbestos on the people and environment of NSW. This research was produced to support this.
The research focused on:
- Home maintenance and renovation. Research was conducted to understand how to increase safe and legal behaviour in home maintenance and renovation situations up to the point of removal of asbestos waste
- Waste. Research was conducted to provide guidance on how to increase lawful behaviour in relation to asbestos waste disposal and to set a baseline of key measures in relation to asbestos waste.