Asbestos was commonly used in building products between 1940 and 1980 but is no longer used as we are now aware of the health risks associated with it.
Asbestos in homes and building materials only poses a health risk if it is broken, deteriorating or disturbed in a way, such as sawing or sanding, that causes dust to be produced.
The 3 main types of asbestos are:
They were mainly used before 1980 in the production of asbestos cement sheeting and piping. Asbestos was also used in the manufacture of vinyl floor tiles, electrical components, brake linings and disc pads. For more information on asbestos and its removal, see the Asbestos guide for householders & general public.
If you would like to have a sample of material tested for asbestos, contact the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) on (03) 9274 8200.
Workplace identification, management, handling and removal of asbestos is regulated by WorkSafe Victoria.
Any proposed demolition works may require a permit and a Building Surveyor should be contacted prior to works. A list of Building Surveyors is available on the Building Permits & Regulations page. If you have any serious concerns about safety issues on demolition works contact Worksafe on 13 23 60 (24hrs) or for general enquiries 9641 1444.
For further information contact Public Health on 1300 368 333 or email.