How do I know if there is asbestos in my home or commercial property?
Asbestos cannot be identified by eye as only scientific; laboratory testing can confirm the presence of this potentially harmful material.
If you suspect a material may contain asbestos, it is always recommended to keep safe and treat it as if it does contain asbestos at least until it is confirmed either way.
Where can asbestos be found?
Asbestos was banned in Australia in 2003 and New Zealand enacted a National Asbestos ban in 2016. There are several risks associated with the exposure to airborne asbestos fibers as they can cause several diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer & mesothelioma. Due to its common use, asbestos can be found in many products including but not limited to:
- Vinyl asbestos floor tiles
- Asbestos vinyl floor sheeting
- Asbestos adhesives including bitumen
- Sprayed insulation (often referred to as “limpet”)
- Asbestos fences, Asbestos roofing, or other cement products
- Fire doors
Careful consideration should be taken during home renovations and construction projects where unsafe removal may increase exposure risks. Additionally, those in specific industries such as tradespersons or builders could potentially be more exposed if unsafe work practices are not followed.
Why is asbestos still being found today?
Asbestos was a commonly used building product until it was banned in 1984. As a result, many homes and commercial properties built before 2000 are likely to contain some form of asbestos materials. It is common to have an asbestos management plan in commercial properties.
If a structure is being renovated, refurbished, or demolished it is recommended to have an asbestos survey performed by a qualified, knowledgeable, experienced, and licensed professional.
This survey should be readily available to all workers and contractors so they can safely perform works. Plans must be updated accordingly to include the method of management or if the asbestos has been removed.
What is the testing process for hazardous materials?
Hazardous material testing including asbestos, lead paint, mould, and meth, must be performed using a physical sample and providing laboratory analysis.
To alleviate any concerns as well as minimise health risk during the collection process, it is always best to contact the ANZ Enviro team so a sample collection can be arranged by one our speciality trained team members.
Always remember that the only way for correct identification is by verified laboratory results. All sampling and testing should be undertaken with a clear understanding of what action one will take if hazardous materials (such as lead paint or asbestos fibres) are detected as the safe removal of these materials is crucial.
The ANZ Enviro team is professionally prepared, experienced and equipped to assist in the safe removal of any type of hazardous material.
Please note that our fees and analysis times may vary.
Do I need a licensed professional to remove asbestos?
Removing more than 10m2 of bonded (non-friable) asbestos in one project requires a license issued by the government health and safety agency WorkSafe New Zealand. Removing any type of friable asbestos or ACM also requires a license.
ANZ Enviro holds many high-risk licenses which include but are not limited to all types of asbestos remediation, demolition work and civil works.
These combined licenses permit our qualified and experienced team to carry out projects associated with removal of minor contamination as well as friable dust or debris contamination.
Our A & B Class Asbestos Removal License work hand in hand with our Demolition Licenses and for our clients we become the one stop shop option for them. To reduce health risk as much as practicable, it is critical that competent, experienced and qualified personnel carry out works associated with asbestos.
What is the difference between bonded as friable asbestos?
Friable asbestos is usually a softer material, it can be powdery and can be crumbled by hand pressure releasing fibre with very little pressure or disturbance.
When disturbed, these fibres are easily released into the air causing damage if inhaled, hence the need for a much more stringent controls in the removal approach with the need of containment and filtered air management systems as well as many other controls, not to mention a far higher standard of training.
Non-friable asbestos (bonded asbestos) can also become friable in some circumstances such as when a product is subjected to or impacted by fire, damaged or from general wear and tear over time (in many coastal or dry environments can also be eroded by sand and salt by wind blasting).
Regardless of the type of asbestos, it is critical to take appropriate safety precautions as both bonded and friable asbestos are very dangerous.
With Asbestos related deaths still on the increase, the aim is to minimise the health risks from asbestos exposure. Any amount of friable asbestos removal must be done by a Licensed Asbestos Removalist holding an Unrestricted or “Class A” Asbestos Removal License.
Who can help me with asbestos removal?
It is recommended that for effective and safe removal of all types of asbestos (bonded and friable), a professional asbestos removalist with a license should be engaged. When selecting a removalist, it is recommended to ensure that their professionalism is matched with experience and the use of the latest technology.
ANZ Enviro carries out work competently as all staff are highly trained and experienced to safely work with asbestos and have all the necessary licenses to work within New Zealand and Australia.
9/62 Factory Road, Belfast, Christchurch, NZ 8051
Please contact us for further information using the form below.