Fibrolite Cladding and other Asbestos Containing Material in NZ
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the term used for the soft and flexible fibres of 6 different types of naturally occurring minerals. They are resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion making the minerals extremely useful, but also highly toxic when exposed.
Asbestos is a great insulator and can be used in cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger and more durable which is why asbestos was widely used in various building materials throughout the 1940-1990’s. It became common knowledge later on that asbestos was a hazardous material – these mineral fibres could cause a number of different serious diseases if the fibres were inhaled.
Types of Asbestos
- Chrysotile – also known as White Asbestos
- Soft and fibrous which is easily crumbled into fibrils
- Curly fibres
- mosite – also known as Brown Asbestos
- Crocidolite – also known as Blue Asbestos
- Tremolite – less common
- Anthophyllite – less common
- Actinolite – less common
- Needle like fibres
From 1940 to the1980’s, fibrolite asbestos cladding was the building material of choice within the building industry in NZ. Sheets of material made of cement and asbestos fibre that was cheap to manufacture and touted as being fireproof, safe and versatile, meant that building and renovation was now far more affordable than it once was. It wasn’t until later when it became common knowledge that asbestos fibres were carcinogenic and extremely dangerous if inhaled, did the building industry stop using asbestos as a building material in residential and commercial construction. If your building was constructed between these times, you more than likely will have asbestos fibrolite cladding in your home or workplace and other types of asbestos materials were being used up until 2000 and sometimes beyond.
Likely Asbestos Containing Products:
- Asbestos-cement cladding and roofing
- Backing material for floor tiles and vinyl sheets
- Insulation board for thermal protection
- Ceiling tiles
- Textured ceilings and sprayed-on wall surfaces – Lagging for insulation around pipes, heaters and hot – Water cylinders
- Spouting for drainage and water supplies – Air conditioning ducts
- Boiler gaskets
- Door seals for ovens, kilns, furnaces and refrigeration units
- Fire doors
- Insulation blocks
- Lift shafts
- Plaster and plaster cornice adhesive
- Electrical cloth
- Filter paper (for juices or chemicals)
- Fire blankets
- Fire draperies and curtains (for use in theatres)
- Firefighter’s clothing
- Glassblower mitts
- Ironing board covers
- Metal mesh blankets
- Pipe coverings
- Pot holders
- Prison cell padding
- Protective clothing for metal and foundry workers
- Welder’s blankets
Asbestos Hazard Identification
Accurate Consulting can manage the risks associated with asbestos in the home and the workplace. Our consultants will identify any ACM’s in and around the site using our asbestos containing materials survey. We will assess the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres – our mobile laboratory can carry out air sample testing on site and save you time and resources. Once all hazards have been identified, our team will be able to advise of the best asbestos management and removal plans for your site.
With consultant teams based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, we are able to service the entire country. Contact us today for accurate asbestos testing and management.
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