Asbestos is a fibrous material that was widely used in the building industry. It was added to building products to increase the strength, durability, fire resistance and insulation properties. However, the significant health impacts associated with exposure to asbestos fibres caused the use of asbestos to be phased out in the 1980s and be completely banned in 2003. The main types of commercial asbestos in WA are chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos).

The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, depends upon the number of asbestos fibres inhaled, the duration of exposure and the frequency of exposure.

Any house built before 1990 may be assumed to contain asbestos material. The most common areas of the house to contain asbestos include asbestos cement rooves and eaves, indoor and outdoor asbestos cement wall sheeting, external cement ‘brick’ cladding materials, asbestos cement fencing, vinyl floor tiles, paper backing material on sheet linoleum, backing panels on meter boxes and textured paints in wet areas.

The Town recommends that an appropriately licensed asbestos removal contractor is engaged to conduct any asbestos removal works.

In order to confirm the presence of asbestos in a material, a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory must be contacted.

For further information please contact the Town’s Environmental Health department on (08) 9158 9300.