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Hazardous Building Materials (HBM's)

If your property was built prior to the late 80's it should be assumed that your property contains hazardous Building Materials in some form.

With the recent changes to the Australian Standard for Lead Paint Management,  Lead Paint is now classified as containing Lead if amount is 0.1% weight/weight down form the previous classification of 1% weight/weight. This means that paints used into the 80's/90's could contain paint that is classified as containing Lead. If this is the case with your property its best to have the paint tested to know what your dealing with and ensure it managed in the appropriate way.

Xcel can identify (ACM)'s Asbestos Containing Materials, Lead Based Paint and Dust, SMF's or Synthetic Mineral Fibres, ODS or Ozone Depleting Substances and Septic Tanks. Some further information on Hazardous Building Materials:

Lead Based Paint and Dust​

Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, or damaged paint) is a hazard and needs immediate attention. Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear and tear, suchas:

  •   window frames and sills

  • doors and door framing

  • skirting boards / architraves

  •   Decorative timber mouldings

  • exterior walls / internal walls

  • gutters

  • metal surfaces

  •   barge boards

  •   fascias

  •   stairs

  •   railing 

  •   porches

  •   Metal and Masonry fences

Lead-based paint is usually not a hazard if it is in good condition and if it is not on an impact or friction surface like a window. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is scraped, sanded, orheated. Lead dust also forms when painted surfaces containing lead bump or rub together. Lead paint chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can reenter the air when the home is vacuumed or swept, or when people walkthrough it. Remember, lead from paint chips—which you can see—and lead dust—which you may not be able to see—both can be hazards. The only way to find out if paint, dust, or soil lead hazards exist is to test for them.

Synthetic Mineral Fibres (SMF's)

Synthetic Mineral Fibre is a general term used to describe a number of fibrous material made from glass, rock, alumina and silica. Some of these products are composed of a mixture of fibres in a multitude of sizes. Generally referred to as SMF, they are also known as Man Made Mineral Fibres (MMMFs).

SMF have been widely used as alternatives to asbestos in insulation and fire-rating products and as reinforcement in cement, plaster and plastic materials. SMF products are used extensively in commercial and residential buildings for insulation from temperature and sound.

There are four main groups of SMF:

  • Continuous Glass Filaments - Used in textiles, reinforced plastics and concrete and as electrical insulation and plumbing materials.

  • Fibreglass, glass fibre or glasswool - Used mainly in insulation mats.

  • Rockwool - Used in formed insulation, in limpet materials, such as acoustic insulation and fire- rating materials.

  • Ceramic fibres - Used as insulation blankets and for high temperature applications and fire-rated products.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB'S)

PCBs is the common name for polychlorinated biphenyls. PCBs range in appearance from colourless, oily liquids to more viscous and increasingly darker liquids, to yellow then black resins, depending on chlorine content of the PCB. These synthetic compounds are chemically stable, have good insulating properties and do not degrade appreciably over time or with exposure to high temperatures. These properties made PCBs very useful in electrical devices such as capacitors.

The major use of PCBs in the electrical industry has been as an insulating fluid inside transformers and capacitors. These transformers and capacitors have ranged in size from the very large transformers which contain several thousand litres of PCBs and were typically used by electrical supply businesses and heavy industries, to the small capacitors which may only contain several millilitres of PCBs and were used in farming equipment and on commercial premises. Capacitors containing PCBs were installed in various types of equipment including fluorescent light fittings during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.

For further reading on the Health Effects of Lead Paint/Dust, SMF's and PCB's please see the following useful links:

Please refer to the Asbestos Containing Page for more information on Asbestos Containing Materials.

Call Xcel's experienced Hazmat Consultants today for all your Hazmat service needs. Xcel Environmental Northern Rivers will Assess your property, Inform you of asbestos or other Hazmat issues then Deliver a plan to manage the asbestos or HBM's safely minimising risk and potential exposure. 

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