Key messages

  • Inhaling asbestos fibres may cause asbestos-related disease and death.
  • Houses built before 1990 are likely to contain asbestos cement products.
  • The health risk from undisturbed asbestos cement products in the home is very low.
  • Householders should engage experienced and licensed professionals to undertake home renovations and asbestos removal.
  • Householders who choose to do their own renovation or ‘DIY’ work should carefully follow the advice in Asbestos: a guide for householders and the general public.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring rock minerals. Asbestos fibres are strong and heat resistant, and have natural insulating properties.

Asbestos was previously used extensively in building products in Australia. All use, import or manufacture of asbestos was banned completely in Australia by 2003.

Guide for safe management and removal of asbestos

Asbestos: a guide for householders and the general public provides useful information for the public. Householders are advised how to sensibly and safely manage the risks arising from occasional encounters with materials containing asbestos in and around their homes.

The guide was produced by the Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. It is a national publication to which state and territory governments and the Australian Government have contributed.

Asbestos - Victorian government information

The Victorian Government asbestos website, Asbestos in Victoria contains the collective advice from the department and other agencies involved in the management of asbestos-related issues. Agencies involved in asbestos safety include WorkSafe Victoria and Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria. The website provides advice and information to help home owners, tenants, employers and workers understand the risks of asbestos.

See the WorkSafe Victoria website for a list of licensed asbestos removalists.

See the EPA Victoria website for information about disposing of asbestos waste.

Examples of asbestos-containing materials can be found in Appendix A of the Code of practice for the management and control of asbestos in workplaces, on the Safe Work Australia website.

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