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Asbestos applies collectively to a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals.


Its strength and heat resistant properties meant that it was commonly included in building materials for roofing, asbestos cement sheeting and pipes, insulation, boilers, electrical fittings, floor tiles, and other products such as clutch and brake linings, gaskets plastics, and textiles.

Asbestos fibres can cause serious health problems when they become airborne, are inhaled and lodged in lungs. Years later, they may cause diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaques and thickening or malignant mesothelioma. However, the chance of developing asbestos-related diseases will depend upon how much asbestos a person was exposed to and for how long.

The use of asbestos was probably at its peak in the mid to late 70s but cement products like asbestos flues and water pipes were still being installed into the 90s. Asbestos use in brake linings and pads and clutch plates has only recently been phased out.

Asbestos was finally phased out in building products like fibro in 1989. Since 31 December 2003, asbestos and all products containing asbestos have been banned Australia-wide. They cannot be imported, stored, supplied, sold, installed, used or re-used. However, this ban does not extend to the existing use of asbestos-containing products such as vinyl floor tiles and asbestos cement roofing or sheeting. These products can be left in place until they need to be replaced. Occupational Health & Safety Regulations also specify that only licensed asbestos removalists may remove fixed or installed asbestos-containing material except in certain limited circumstances.

Asbestos products are still commonly found in homes. They can be harmful if the asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in. If building materials such as asbestos cement sheeting are in good condition, the asbestos fibres are tightly bound and very few escape into the air. Installed, undisturbed asbestos-containing products are unlikely to cause health problems because the asbestos fibres are bound together in a solid matrix. But if they are tooled, cut, drilled, sanded or otherwise abraded or machined they can release asbestos fibres into the air.

Unfortunately, many home renovators, home maintenance and building workers don’t realise the dangers of exposure. Prolonged exposure carries the greatest risk. Before renovating or demolishing, it’s essential to identify asbestos-containing products. Potentially any type of board building material over 20 years old could contain asbestos. The only way to be sure is to have the material identified and removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.



For more information refer to State WorkCover, Health or Environmental Protection Authorities.

For national health strategies see “Asbestosis: A Home Renovator’s Guide” produced by Queensland State Government, Health Department.

Qld Health Asbestos Publication

ABIS building and pest inspections are conducted to the highest standard by building inspectors with a minimum of 10 years experience together with the highest professional qualifications in their field. ABIS has been in business over 27 years conducting both building and timber pest inspections.

Our highly recommended home inspectors are all long term trusted employees not here today gone tomorrow sub-contractors. ABIS Inspectors are supported by a unique computer aided inspection system and the latest inspection equipment such as high sensitivity thermal cameras costing thousands of dollars that others don’t often have.

When you book a pre-purchase inspection with ABIS, our friendly local (they know the area and are not in a interstate or overseas call centre) staff will make the whole process easy for you. Our Office team make all the arrangements with you, your agent, the vendor, the tenant (if there is one) and you will be sent an email to confirm the inspection time along with a pre-engagement letter which covers the scope of the inspection. Good communication and local knowledge are key to you getting the most out of your building and pest inspection. We are always happy to answer all your questions and you are most welcome to be on site when we do the inspection. Our technology, systems and processes also mean you get your high quality report shortly after your inspection is completed.

And all this for an incredible low price.

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Area Map The Peninsula Moreton Bay Area East Brisbane Redland Bay Area Gold Coast Ipswich Brisbane West Brisbane Northside Brisbane Southside Logan City

ABIS The 1st Choice in Building & Pest Inspections