Frequently Asked Questions
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral containing strong, thin fibres. There are three main types of asbestos:
Asbestos was widely used throughout the Australian building industry between the 1940s and the 1980s, and was utilised for its flexibility, strength, durability, fireproofing and insulation properties. Australia banned the use of asbestos in 2003.
Why is asbestos harmful?
Asbestos becomes harmful when it is disturbed or damaged. This is when needle-like fibres are released into the air, where they can remain for quite a long time.
If asbestos fibres are breathed into the lungs they can cause the development of illnesses such as asbestosis (breathing impairment from scarred lungs), mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium - lung and abdomen lining) and lung cancer.
These side effects can take up to 50 years to develop and there are currently no cures for these illnesses.
How do I minimalise the risk to myself, family and friends?
If you suspect your property may contain asbestos, have it inspected by a qualified asbestos removal professional. While there is no current law making it mandatory to remove asbestos from contaminated properties, we highly recommend you have it removed. This will help avoid accidental exposure should the affected area deteriorate or be disturbed in the future.
Always have asbestos removed by a professional. Never try to remove affected building materials yourself.
How is asbestos removed safely?
Asbestos should only ever be removed by a qualified and experienced asbestos removal professional. We utilise the latest in protective equipment, including negative air systems, high efficiency vacuums and personal protection and respiratory protection apparatus.
At Asbestos Solutions NT we effectively remove asbestos in accordance with the national code of practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in the Workplace (nohsc: 2018 2005) and the Safe Work Australia 2012 national code of practice.
What should I do if I suspect asbestos is being removed and dumped illegally near my home? Who do I contact?
For your immediate safety remove any washing from the clothesline, stop all air circulation devices such as fans and air conditioners, remain indoors and seal off any open doors or windows.
You can contact the NT WorkSafe and direct their attention to the situation.
Dumping asbestos contaminated building materials in residential rubbish bins or bags is highly dangerous.