Asbestos, commonly used in construction until the late 20th century, is now a known health hazard. Unfortunately, while it is no longer in use, its widespread presence in older homes that may be demolished or renovated means its dangers remain very real. 

In Brisbane and across wider Queensland and indeed Australia as a whole, the process of asbestos removal is heavily regulated and for good reason. Improper removal and disposal not only places you as a homeowner at risk but the wider community too. 

To avoid these risks, It’s important to understand the local guidelines and find trusted professionals to handle the task. 

In this guide, we provide an overview of what you need to know concerning the safe removal and disposal of asbestos in Brisbane.

Understanding Asbestos & Its Dangers

Due to its heat resistance and insulation properties, asbestos was frequently used in building materials and construction between 1940 and 1980 and even up to the 2000s. 

Once its significant health dangers became apparent, the manufacturing and use of asbestos products diminished and were later banned entirely 

So what makes it so dangerous? When disturbed, asbestos releases microscopic fibres into the air which are then easily inhaled. Inhalation of these fibres can then cause diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, all of which are incurable and may be fatal. 

The only way to mitigate the risk of inhaling these fibres is to remove and dispose of asbestos in an approved manner that seeks to contain all of these. 

The Challenge Of Proper Identification

Asbestos is often hard to identify and as it was used in such a wide variety of building materials, it can be easy to accidentally expose yourself to its dangers.

If your home was built before the 2000s or renovated before this time, it is wise to tread very carefully before undertaking any renovations or demolition work. 

A small insight into just how prolific asbestos use was and how easily it can be hidden in your home, you should be wary of the following: 

  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Insulation (asbestos insulation is especially common in houses built between 1930 and 1950)
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints
  • Fencing panels
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Guttering
  • Plasterboard
  • Electrical switchboards and more.  

Identifying asbestos is not something that can be done by sight alone. The only way to confirm the presence of asbestos or lack thereof is to arrange for the proper assessment and testing by a professional. 

During assessment by a trained expert, samples are taken wherever asbestos is suspected to be present and sent to a laboratory for testing. The results of this testing can then inform your approach and keep you from accidental exposure.  

Asbestos Removal Regulations In Brisbane

In Brisbane, strict regulations are in place regarding asbestos removal. These regulations dictate who can remove asbestos, how it should be done, and where waste can be disposed of. 

These rules are enforced by the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science and must be strictly followed. No attempts should be made to remove asbestos without professional help. 

Finding a Licensed Asbestos Removalist

Hiring a licensed asbestos removalist is crucial. Failure to employ a licensed asbestos removalist or undertaking removal and disposal yourself could see you facing hefty fines or even the possibility of jail time. 

Only a professional is properly trained and licensed to handle asbestos safely, using appropriate equipment and following strict procedures. Your chosen removalist should happily provide evidence of this training and licensing when asked. 

For reassurance, you can also verify a removalist’s license through the Asbestos Licence Register on the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website.

Where licensing cannot be confirmed, it is strongly recommended to seek out an alternative removalist. 

Safe Asbestos Disposal

Asbestos materials should be disposed of at a licensed waste disposal site, it cannot be dumped at your local landfill as only designated locations will accept it.  

Brisbane City Council provides a limited number of designated public waste facilities that accept asbestos waste. It should also be noted that while some locations accept asbestos waste, they do so only if it meets certain criteria.  

This criteria stipulates that all asbestos waste must be properly sealed and labelled following Queensland Government legislation. 

Waste that is presented loose, unsealed or unlabelled will be refused and may be reported by the facility as a public health and safety hazard.  

You should always check with your removalist about their disposal procedures to ensure it will be done safely and legally. Ignorance on behalf of a homeowner concerning this will not be accepted as a valid excuse should charges arise due to improper disposal. 

Icon Asbestos Removal – Licensed Brisbane Experts

While asbestos removal may seem daunting, understanding the regulations and hiring a licensed professional can ensure the task is done safely and effectively. 

You should always put the health and safety of yourself, your family and your community first and never attempt to remove or handle asbestos yourself. 

With careful planning and the right professionals, you can make your Brisbane home asbestos-free. Learn how licensed and trusted professionals Icon Asbestos can help today by calling 07 3053 3453.