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               About Asbestos


                                              Where are asbestos
                                              products most likely
  About Asbestos                              to be found?                                 What are the risks?

  Asbestos is a natural material, which       The most common uses for asbestos            Asbestos containing products do not
  was commonly used in building materials     products include:                            pose a health risk if they are in good
  up until the 1980s, in wall and ceiling     • internal and external wall lining or       condition and remain undisturbed.
  panelling, roofing, and floor tiles.             splashboards in kitchens and              They only become a health risk if their
  The presence of asbestos containing            ‘wet areas’ such as bathrooms, toilets    condition deteriorates or if they are
  materials is not a problem in itself.          and laundries;                            damaged or disturbed in some way.
  However, safety issues do arise if the      • vinyl floor tiles and the backing for       Activities such as sawing, sanding,
  asbestos-containing material is disturbed      vinyl sheeting (unlikely in Building      drilling or breaking up products
  or damaged.                                    Management Accommodation and              containing asbestos can release the
                                                 Property Services (BMAPS) houses as       asbestos fibres that pose the health risk.
  While most people today are aware that
                                                 floor covering is replaced regularly);
  asbestos can pose a health risk, they
                                              • lagging (rope insulation) attached to
  don’t necessarily know where or how
                                                 hot water services entering wall lining
  asbestos products may have been used
                                              • in eaves, gables and roofing including
  in their homes – or the correct ways to
                                                 roofing shingles;
  deal with asbestos and minimise the risk.
                                              • down pipes and heater flue pipes;
  Remember, you are not at risk if building   • in and around external structures, eg
  material containing asbestos is not            sheds, fencing, rainwater tank stands.
  disturbed or if licensed contractors do
                                              The quick reference guide on the back
  work in accordance with the approved
                                              page of this brochure provides a list
  Codes of Practice. Unauthorised work
                                              of common asbestos products and
  by unskilled people puts you and
                                              activities that may cause risk.
  others at risk.
  This brochure provides the basic
  information you need to identify possible
  asbestos products, some simple rules
  to follow, and where to go for further
  information and assistance if required.

  Common Locations of Asbestos in Houses

                      Eaves                                                                Asbestos-backed vinyl
                                                                                           Hot water service
                                                                                           pipe insulation
                                                                                           Vinyl tiles

                                                 Internal walls
                      Underground pipes
                      (wastewater)               External wall
                                                                                           Fencing – ‘Deep Six’

                                                                                           Verandah lining

02/About Asbestos

    What should I do
    about asbestos
    products in or around                                                                        Government policies
    my home?                                                                                     and guidelines

    If you suspect, or have identified,               If the building material is damaged or      The South Australian Government is
    the presence of asbestos containing              work needs to be done...                    aware of its responsibility to its tenants,
    materials in or around the property you          If you can see damage or disturbance        contractors and all those who could
    occupy, there are some simple guidelines         to the building material, or there needs    come into contact with asbestos in
    to follow. If you’re not sure if a material or   to be maintenance or repair work done       government-owned or leased properties
    product contains asbestos, always treat          in the area where the possible asbestos     and is committed to minimising the
    it as if it does.                                containing material is present, you need    risk of harm from asbestos products.
    If you have general questions                    to inform the appropriate person to get     Accordingly, there are strict policies and
    about asbestos...                                it checked.                                 guidelines in place regarding detection,
                                                                                                 assessment, monitoring, maintenance
    If you have concerns about the possibility       Private sector rental
                                                                                                 and removal of asbestos.
    of asbestos in your home, or a general           If you are renting a property leased from
    query about asbestos, contact your local                                                     To find out more about Government’s
                                                     the private market, contact your BMAPS
    BMAPS Housing Manager.                                                                       asbestos policies and guidelines and who
                                                     Housing Manager.
                                                                                                 to talk to about asbestos-related issues:
    If the building material is in                   Government owned housing
    good condition...                                                                            Contact your BMAPS Housing Manager or
                                                     If it is a BMAPS house you need to inform   BMFS Manager.
    If the building material appears to be           your Facilities Manager at Building
    sound (ie no damage, crumbling or                                                            Access information from the
                                                     Management Facilities Services (BMFS).
    damp) and there’s no reason to disturb                                                       following websites:
                                                     Contact details are in your Tenancy         • www.buildingmanagement.sa.gov.au
    it, there should be no risk and it can be
                                                     Guide, on the web or available from your    • www.safework.sa.gov.au
    safely left alone. Disturbing the building
                                                     Housing Manager. Also:
    material may create a risk where there
                                                     • avoid the area, or keep activity
    was none.
                                                       in the area to a minimum, until the
                                                       situation has been assessed and
                                                       the problem fixed;
                                                     • do not dust, sweep or vacuum debris
                                                       that might contain asbestos.
                                                     Once you have informed BMFS of the
                                                     situation, it will arrange for a site
                                                     inspection to assess the situation and
                                                     carry out appropriate repairs or removal
                                                     of the material.
                                                     Always follow these rules...
                                                     • DON’T ignore damage or deterioration
                                                        – it needs to be assessed and the
                                                        appropriate action taken.
                                                     • DON’T attempt to undertake any
                                                        work yourself.
                                                     • DON’T allow unauthorised, non-
                                                        accredited, unqualified people to
                                                        undertake any work for you.
                                                     In accordance with the Residential
                                                     Tenancy Agreement, all tenants
                                                     are required to notify BMAPS of any
                                                     damage to the property.
                                                     Tenants are also required to obtain
                                                     the written consent of BMAPS before
                                                     undertaking any renovation or alteration
                                                     or addition to the property.

                                                                                                                        03/About Asbestos


  Quick reference guide

  The examples below show the types of asbestos products you might encounter in or around your home and activities that might pose a risk.
  If unsure, contact your Housing Manager or your BMFS Facilities Manager. Details are in your Tenancy Guide or on the Web.

  Asbestos product                                                                 Do not undertake these risk activities

  Sheeting used for roofing, eaves, insulation, exterior and interior and           Sawing, cutting, drilling, sanding, breaking up, installing hooks, nails
  interior wall linings                                                            or similar

  Fencing (eg ‘Deep 6’ fencing)                                                    Breakage or accidental damage

  Stormwater pipes, down pipes, hot water service and heater flues and              Damage or breakage, incorrect repair methods, removal
  lagging, boiler and furnace ducts

  Vinyl asbestos, underlay material, backing adhesives used for                    Sanding or scraping sheet flooring backing during removal, drilling
  installation, meter board mounting                                               board mounting

  Sheeting and paper used as insulation around fireplaces or wood-                  Repairing or removing heating appliances, cutting, tearing, sanding,
  burning stoves                                                                   sawing or drilling insulation

  Frequently Asked
  Am I at risk from asbestos?                           Do I have to leave my house when                        How often will my house be checked
  Most houses built before the late 1980s have          it is inspected for asbestos?                           to make sure it is safe from asbestos?
  some asbestos containing products, however            There is no need to leave the property                  An initial inspection of government
  you’re not at risk from asbestos if the material      during an inspection, unless the contractor             owned properties for asbestos-containing
  is in good condition and is not disturbed.            asks you to vacate for a specific purpose.               materials will commence in 2005. This
  What should I do if I think there                     Do I have to leave if contractors are                   work will be undertaken by the Facilities
  is asbestos?                                          doing work on asbestos containing                       Services Asbestos Management Unit.
  Contact your Housing Manager and                      materials in my house?                                  Once the initial inspection has been
  discuss your concerns.                                                                                        carried out, BMAPS and BMFS will inspect
                                                        Yes. You will be informed by either the
                                                                                                                every 3 years. Upon vacancy properties will
  What do I do if building materials                    BMAPS Housing Manager or the BMFS
                                                                                                                be inspected by the Key Agent for
  are damaged?                                          Facilities Manager. The cost will be borne
                                                                                                                deterioration or damage, and any rectification
                                                        BMAPS if overnight or longer relocation
  • Private sector rental:                                                                                      work will be made before reletting.
                                                        is required.
     Contact your BMAPS Housing Manager                                                                         Can I be allocated an ‘asbestos free’
                                                        Will all the asbestos be removed from
  • Government owned housing:                                                                                   house?
                                                        my house?
                                                                                                                All BMAPS houses will be checked to ensure
    Contact your local BMFS Manager                     Not necessarily. If the asbestos containing
                                                                                                                the asbestos containing materials do not
  Who is allowed to do work on                          material is not a health risk or is not likely
                                                                                                                pose a health risk.
  my house?                                             to be damaged, it can be left as is.
                                                                                                                Would I have to pay more for my
  Prequalified, licensed asbestos removal                Who undertakes the regular checks
                                                                                                                house if it has been declared free
  contractors shall carry out asbestos                  on houses to make sure there are
                                                                                                                of asbestos?
  removal work. Appropriately licensed                  no asbestos problems?
  contractors shall undertake all other                                                                         No, rents are based on market rates
                                                        A competent person as described in the
  building and maintenance work.                                                                                for that area.
                                                        OHS&W Regulations 1995 will undertake

  For further information contact:
  Building Management Accommodation and Property Services Adelaide Office
  GPO Box 967 ADELAIDE SA 5001
  Telephone (08) 8226 5496 Facsimile (08) 8226 5601
  Website – www.buildingmanagement.sa.gov.au

  04/About Asbestos

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