Asbestos Removal - DIY vs Licenced Removalists

While homeowners can legally undertake the removal of asbestos under 10m2 in their own home by obtaining a DIY Asbestos Test Kit, these projects are better left to licensed removalists. When you are renovating, and you need to demolish a property that is affected by asbestos, you may complicate the situation by unknowingly disturbing huge amounts of asbestos fibres, and if you try to remove friable asbestos components or change the structure of your home, you could run the risk of scattering invisible asbestos particles into the air, thus risking the health of everyone in the vicinity of your work site.

Regional Enviroscience has reported that The Medical Journal of Australia revealed from a study with 3612 respondents, 858 who self-reported as DIY renovators, 61.4% had exposure to asbestos, 39.3% said their partner had been exposed and 22.8% said their children had been exposed.

Australia has the highest rate of mesothelioma caused by asbestos globally with around 600 people being diagnosed each year.  This figure is expected to rise to 900 by 2020 and unfortunately, Australia’s traditional attitude of “she’ll be right“ has been applied to asbestos identification and even removal by some Australian DIY renovators resulting in asbestos exposure.

Asbestos fibres become a problem when they are airborne and inhaled. It can take between 10 and 40 years for the disease to emerge but it does it is debilitating and often terminal.

It is therefore advisable to contract a licensed asbestos removalist to carry out the work. The removalists have the expertise and technical know-how which allows them to handle the removal of asbestos materials safely without putting you, your family and your neighbours at risk.

Below are the benefits to hiring professional asbestos removalists:

Licensed Asbestos Removalists -

  • Comply with strict government rules and regulations
  • Appoint a supervisor to overlook the entire asbestos removal work
  • Come equipped with control plan prior to commencing any asbestos removal work
  • Educate their employees about the immediate and proximate areas which are projected for asbestos removal undertakings
  • Implement safety-first approach while removing, containing and disposing of asbestos materials and waste,
  • Use signs and barricades to ensure the safety of the general public to make sure they are not exposed
  • Ensure decontamination facilities are provided
  • Make sure their employees are trained and equipped with essential knowledge of types of asbestos including strategies and techniques to tackle each asbestos removal project, depending on the area, type and size
  • Ensure their employees are provided with sufficient safety and protective gears
  • Make sure their employees are physically fit and undergo regular medical examinations to allow them to be able to carry out all asbestos removal tasks

Asbestos Removal Licences

Removalists are licensed to handle asbestos professionally. It is essential to determine what type of licences they have. Queensland Government issues two types of Asbestos Removal Licences, Class A (Friable Asbestos) and Class B (Bonded Asbestos).

Friable Asbestos - The asbestos is in powder form or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Friable asbestos is highly dangerous in nature and known to cause lung cancer.

Bonded Asbestos - When asbestos fibres are bonded to another material, such as cement or resin binder, it is known as bonded asbestos. It cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.

Class A - Friable Asbestos Removal Licence

Class A licence holders are legally allowed to undertake the removal of friable asbestos materials as well as bonded asbestos materials. Due to the dangerous nature of friable asbestos, Class A licence holders follow strict OHS safety guidelines and take many precautionary measures to ensure safe asbestos removal and disposal from the site.

Class B - Bonded Asbestos Removal Licence

Class B licence holders are trained and experienced to remove bonded asbestos only. Please note, Class B licence holders are not legally allowed to undertake friable asbestos removal projects.

Why DIY is Not Advisable

Given the fact that there are many rules and regulations for asbestos removal process, these requirements can only be fulfilled by trained and professional removalists. It is advisable to hire professionals asbestos removalists for the sake of your safety and the safety of others - family, neighbours, friends or staff.

A1 Asbestos Removals

We are fully insured, Class A (Friable Asbestos) and Class B (Bonded Asbestos) licenced by Queensland Government and have many years of experience from numerous asbestos removal projects in Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and surrounding suburbs.

We service residential, commercial and industrial customers and we only use high-quality industrial grade equipment, paying particular attention to detail on every asbestos removal project we undertake. Contact us on  0450369566 or request an Asbestos Removal Cost Estimate online.

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What customers say about us

In our recent kitchen renovation, A1 removed three large walls of asbestos for us. I was delighted with the high quality service at every step of the process, from first contact with the administration team (who clearly explained the process and regulations) to "the boys" on site - who were extremely polite, professional, tidy and quick. Their (site unseen) quote was very competitive, almost 40% cheaper than a competitors quote for the same service (including independent air quality testing). Very satisfied with their service and would highly recommend.

Evonne Miller