Fibro and Asbestos

Fibro and Asbestos
Photo of asbestos wall on a shed
Breathing in asbestos is harmful and hazardous; but if in sound condition and left undisturbed, fibro products are not a significant health risk. Fibro Asbestos canterbury bankstown Breathing in asbestos is harmful and hazardous; but if in sound condition and left undisturbed, fibro products are not a significant health risk.  
Photo of asbestos wall on a shed

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that is able to withstand heat, erosion and decay and has fire and water resistant properties.  It was as a very widely used building material between the 1950s and 1987.  It was often called 'fibro' and included in products like asbestos cement, such as flat or corrugated sheeting, water and flue pipes, insulation, vinyl flooring and casing for electrical wires.

It was so widely used that if your house was built or renovated before 1987 it is likely to contain some asbestos.  If you suspect you have asbestos in your building, get it checked by a qualified professional. Never cut, drill sand, scrape, scrub or water blast asbestos products.

Health Risks

When inhaled asbestos poses significant health risks. It can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. You need to be especially careful when handling any material that may contain it. 

Removal and Disposal of Asbestos

Before you undertaker home renovations or maintenance visit Asbestos Awareness or call 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378) for information, resources and checklists.   ​

Small household quantities

It is legal for you to remove and correctly dispose of up to 10m2 of non-friable or bonded asbestos such as fibro, piping etc.  

When handling asbestos it is important that you wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and don't create extra dust which could be harmful to you and your family. If in doubt, call an expert.

Asbestos Awareness has a Fact Sheet on safe handling.

The material must be disposed of at specific waste sites. Always phone the landfill you plan to visit in advance to ensure they accept household asbestos waste (many also require 24 hours notice of the delivery).

Find a local facility that accepts household quantities.

More than ten-metres square

For more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos you need to engage a licenced Class A or B asbestos removal contractor. They can provide you with the tipping receipt as proof of correct disposal.

At the completion of the removal you should be provided a Clearance Certificate, issued by an independent competent person. Make sure you only engage a SafeWork NSW licenced asbestos removal contractor​.

Loose or friable asbestos

For any quantity of friable asbestos (that is any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry) you need to engage a licenced Class A asbestos removal contractor.

At the completion of the removal you should be provided a Clearance Certificate, issued by a WorkCover NSW licenced asbestos assessor.


Asbestos and Demolition Licences

The NSW Government is making it easier and faster to apply for asbestos and demolition licences in NSW by digitising the application process.  

The new, easy-to-use digital application will save individuals and businesses time by reducing the number of steps and the amount of paperwork needed, and moving away from postal applications. Applicants will still need to book an appointment at a Service NSW Centre to prove their identity in person within 30 days of submitting the application. The new digital process only applies to new asbestos and demolition licence applications. For renewals, licence holders will need to follow the previous process.  

Which licences does this affect?  

Asbestos 

  • Class A friable asbestos
  • Class A friable asbestos fire doors and safes only
  • Class B non-friable asbestos

Demolition 

  • Demolition licence (DE1)
  • Restricted demolition licence (DE2)

How to apply 

To view the eligibility criteria, including relevant certification and proof of identity documentation, and to apply for a new asbestos removal licence, visit Service NSW

For demolition licence applications, visit Service NSW

More information and contacts

Being informed about the risks of asbestos, as well as its proper handling, are important for both home renovators and tradespeople. SafeWork NSW runs the 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378) hotline as a first point of contact for anyone dealing with this material. 

To help assess the risks you can do a 20 Point Asbestos Safety Check.

Find out more at:

For any other matter, or specific questions, contact Council's Environmental Health and Compliance Unit on 9707 9000.