Asbestos cement building products are not a health risk if left undisturbed in buildings, however safe work procedures must be followed to remove it. Asbestos must be handled with extreme caution to minimise the release of potentially harmful fibres.
Asbestos only poses a risk to health when asbestos fibres are breathed in. The presence of asbestos in home building materials generally does not pose a health risk unless the material is broken, deteriorating or disturbed in such a way that airborne asbestos fibres are produced.
If you are unsure whether a product in your home contains asbestos, it is best to treat it as if it does. Alternatively, you may have the asbestos tested at an approved laboratory or have an asbestos consultant provide you with advice.
Friable asbestos may only be removed by a person or business which contains a Class A asbestos removal license. You may remove less than 10 square meters of non-friable asbestos without a license however anything over this amount requires a Class A or B asbestos removal license.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety offer a license and registration search tool to ensure the contractor you have hired is correctly licensed.
We strongly recommend you use a licensed asbestos removalist to remove asbestos. However, if you are planning on removing asbestos yourself, please ensure you have the correct PPE and plan in place before doing so. It is important to ensure you protect yourself and do not damage the asbestos product during removal. More information on DIY asbestos removal can be found following this link.
Removing and replacing an asbestos roof requires a building permit.
If applying for a demolition permit for a property containing asbestos, you will need to submit the asbestos declaration form.
KNOW asbestos in your home is a free online course offered by the Cancer Council Australia.
The course gives the DIY home renovator basic knowledge about asbestos, and the risks and safe practices when working with or removing small amounts of asbestos-containing material.
If you are thinking of doing a renovation (from painting to asbestos removal) this course will be invaluable.
Take the KNOW Asbestos Course
Within the metropolitan area, asbestos cement waste must be disposed of in line with the Environmental Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulations 2004:
- Material containing asbestos must be separated from all other waste;
- The asbestos must be wrapped in heavy duty (200 micron) builders plastic and sealed with strong duct tape;
- It must be clearly labelled and marked ‘Caution Asbestos’ in writing at least 5cm high.
Tamala Park Waste Facility
1700 Marmion Ave, Tamala Park WA 6030
Offers free asbestos drop off on Sundays (limits apply).
West Metro Recycling Centre
60 Lemons Street, Shenton Park WA 6008 (enter off Brockway Road)
Asbestos may be disposed of for a fee.
Haven’t found the information you are looking for?
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Frequent Asked Questions on asbestos related queries.
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Department of Health
Asbestos testing authorities, health risks, exposures, regulations, and general asbestos products information.
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Australian Government Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
Resource for home renovators.
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