What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the fibrous form of the mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups of rock-forming minerals and includes actinolite, amosite (brown asbestos), anthophyllite, crocidolite (blue asbestos), chrysotile (white asbestos), tremolite or any material containing one or more of the mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups. Prior to 1987, asbestos was widely used in building materials such as wall lining, vinyl floor tiles, eaves, corrugated roofing and fencing. These asbestos-containing materials are considered non-friable (bonded). Any asbestos-containing materials such as pipe, boiler and fire rating insulation that can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure are considered friable.
What is a Hazardous Material?
A substance that poses a risk to your health or the environment is a hazardous substance. Examples of hazardous substances include asbestos, lead-in-paint, synthetic mineral fibre, polychlorinated biphenyls and chlorofluorocarbons. For a list of Australian classified hazardous substances please refer to the Hazardous Substances Information System.
Some helpful links about asbestos awareness in the workplace: