What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occuring rock mineral. It is very durable and has excellent fire resistance and insulating properties.
Asbestos was widely used during the 1940s-1990s in house-hold and industrial products such as:
- fibre-cement pipes
- wall panels
- roof sheeting.
It was also used in mechanical and mining industry products such as brake disc pads and gaskets.
There are three main types of asbestos
- White (chrysotile) - often used in house-hold appliances and buildings
- Brown (amosite) - used in thermal insulation products and sprayed applications
- Blue (crocidolite) - used for insulation laggings and sprayed applications
Australia banned the manufacture, import and installation of products containing blue and brown asbestos on 31 December 1984. Use of white asbestos was banned from 1 January 2004. However, buildings may still contain asbestos and you need to know what to do if you come across asbestos in your home or workplace.
Naturally occuring Serpentine Rock with chrysotile asbestos
This piece of Serpentine Rock was uncovered with earthmoving equipment removing a large section of topsoil for roadworks.
Demountable building with asbestos cement sheeting
Demountable class rooms were typically constructed from a bolt together steel frame which were originally clad inside and out with asbestos containing cement sheeting.