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Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM's)

Asbestos the versatile supposed miracle mineral was mined and widely used in Australian building products in residential, commercial and industrial settings throughout the 20th century up until the Australia-wide ban on the manufacture and use of all types of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACM) took effect on 31 December 2003. 

The 3 main types of asbestos found in Australian products are:

  • Chrysotile (white asbestos)

  • Crocidolite (blue asbestos) or

  • Amosite (brown or grey asbestos).

Asbestos can be either Friable in an unbonded state or Non Friable in a Bonded state.

Certain conditions can effect the condition of the material and increase the likelihood of the material being disturbed and the potential of airborne asbestos fibre release such as fire damage,weathering and storm damage.   

Asbestos comes in many forms  and not just the obvious fibre cement flat wall sheeting/cladding or super 6 corrugated roof sheets. Common areas where asbestos can be found in the home or workplace are internal wet areas (bathroom,laundry,kitchen), electrical meter boards, detached garages or sheds, external wall sheeting, eave linings, exterior roofs, fencing, vinyl flooring and backing glue.

Asbestos can be found in over 2000 products in various forms and applications such as:

  • glues,

  • mastics,

  • brick expansion joints

  • waterproofing,

  • carpet underlay

  • vinyl,

  • compressed sheeting,

  • flues,

  • wall and ceiling insulation

  • imitation brick and sandstone wall cladding

  • log cabin, trimdeck and weatherboard wall cladding

  • A/C installations

  • commercial moulded exhaust fans

  • ceiling tiles

  • electrical meter backing boards, insulation wiring and circuit breakers

  • moulded cement piping, electrical pits and gutters/capping,

  • gaskets,

  • break pads,

  • fireplace and oven rope seals,

  • packing material around timber framing (doors, windows, ceiling and subfloor joists)

  • fireproof material in fire doors and lagging around pipes. 

  • fire blankets and gloves,

  • paints,

  • machinery and plant,

  • vermiculite Ceiling (popcorn)

You should assume Asbestos is in your home if it was built prior to the late 80.’s but that is not always the case. 

Xcel Environmental Wollongong have identified properties that were built in the early 90’s where asbestos contains material has been reused. 

Xcel have also identified recently hardiflex material from imported China that was found to contain asbestos. An expensive cost to remove the asbestos as well as the potential exposure without controls In place when recladding the house in Asbestos containing material and the builder being unaware of the asbestos danger. 


Xcel recommends that you should always have an experienced consultant test suspect material prior to any refurbishment or demolition as the only definitive way of confirming whether a material contains asbestos is by sending a sample to an NATA approved laboratory for analysis under a microscope using PLM (polarised light microscopy).  

Significant health risks may arise from the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibres. If asbestos is disturbed it can release dangerous fine particles of dust containing asbestos fibres which can cause illness when inhaled. Asbestos exposure can lead to diseases such as Asbestosis, Lung cancer, Mesothelioma and Pleural disease

If you are going to try removing asbestos yourself Xcel always recommends using the experts that are licensed to remove asbestos. They have the experience and knowledge of how to handle and dispose of the materials safely. If the asbestos removal is 10m2 (older bathrooms walls only) or above you must use a Class A Licensed Contractor or a Class B Licensed Contractor to remove the asbestos. A Class A (Friable) Licensed contractor must be used for any amount of Friable Asbestos. 


For more useful information on ASBESTOS see the following links:

Have you been exposed to ASBESTOS?

Other Informative Websites

If you require Asbestos Removal we can assist you with asbestos removal servicing the Northern Rivers

Call Xcel Environmental Byron Bays experienced Licensed Asbestos Assessors today for all your Asbestos service needs. Xcel Environmental Byron Bay will Assess your property, Inform you of asbestos issues then deliver a plan to manage the asbestos safely minimising risk and potential exposure to asbestos fibres. 

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