Hazardous Materials

For further details about this service please call our Customer Care team on (03) 6397 7303.

Asbestos

Asbestos was commonly used in building materials from the 1940's until the mid - 1990's. Because exposure to asbestos can cause disease, a national ban on the manufacture, importation and installation of products containing asbestos was introduced from 1 January 2004.

Where can asbestos be found?

The inhalation of asbestos fibres may result in serious diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer. Because the level of exposure that may cause health problems is unknown, any exposure to asbestos should be avoided. It is estimated that at least one in every three buildings constructed between the 1940’s and 1990’s contain asbestos products. Asbestos may be found either firmly or loosely bound in a number of products once used in the Australian building industry, including:

  • roofing and shingles
  • under eaves
  • exterior wall cladding
  • interior walls and wet areas
  • fencing
  • thermal boards around fireplaces and in switch boards
  • backing material on floor tiles and vinyl flooring
  • gaskets and seals in wood stoves
  • textured paint
  • garages and workshops
  • the brakes, clutches and gaskets of cars
  • insulation used on hot water pipes, hot water cylinders, domestic heaters and stoves
What does asbestos look like?

It is very difficult to identify asbestos by looking at it. If you are uncertain about what a substance is, you should treat it as though it contains asbestos. The only way to be certain is to have a sample analysed by a laboratory. A licensed asbestos removalist could also help identify materials containing asbestos.

What should I do if I find asbestos?

If you are concerned about any asbestos in your home you should contact a licensed asbestos removalist who can assist you. A list of licensed asbestos removalists can be found on the Work Safe Tasmania website or by contacting the Workplace Standards Helpline on 1300 366 322.

May I remove asbestos from my home?

It is recommended that you contact a licensed asbestos removalist if you are considering having asbestos removed from your home.  Asbestos is dangerous and while it is not illegal for you to remove asbestos from a property that you own, you are strongly advised not to do so unless you have undertaken training and are competent in safe asbestos removal practices. 

You must consider your health and safety if you are considering doing asbestos removal.  You must also consider the health and safety of other people in the area, including children, and people on neighbouring properties.  These people may be exposed to asbestos fibres released during removal works. 

How do I dispose of asbestos?

Asbestos is classified as a hazardous material, so there are rules about how it can be transported and where it can be disposed of. If you are planning to remove asbestos yourself, you need to contact the Planning Department first. They can tell you about any planning approvals or permits that are required before you begin. Please note that asbestos is not accepted at any Waste Transfer Stations within the Northern Midlands Municipality.  You can contact the Workplace Standards Helpline on 1300 366 322 to find your nearest location for disposal.

External Links
Where can I get more information?

Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation has lots of information on identification and removal of asbestos.  free downloads and links to other groups. Visit their website at www.asbestosfreetasmania.org.au

Sharps Disposal
Sharps disposal locations

Kings Meadows Capital Chemist, 86 Hobart Road, Kings Meadows
Mowbray Capital Chemist, 4/282 Invermay Road, Mowbray
Newstead Capital Chemist, 167 Elphin Road, Newstead
Summerhill Amcal Pharmacy, 369 Hobart Road, Youngtown
Council's Customer Service Centre, 13 Smith Street, Longford

All sharps must be in a biohazard container which has rigid walls, is resistant to punctures and is sealed.

Please note that this service is only available to individuals. Council do not provide new sharps containers please see your local chemist to purchase new containers.