//Asbestos News

Where to Dispose of Asbestos in Brisbane, QLD

One of the biggest consumers of asbestos-containing products is Australia.

We used these toxic products to build homes and commercial buildings due to its affordability and effectiveness at insulating heat.

Unfortunately, even with the government’s effort to ban asbestos usage today, there are still thousands of buildings in the past – both commercial and residential – that were built using it.

Most of these structures are still standing to this day, and as you may be aware , being exposed to this mineral can cause severe respiratory conditions such as lung cancer or asbestosis. That is why only trained professionals should be the dealing with asbestos and not you.

For an easier and much safer approach, you can hire us at RiverCity Asbestos (RCA) to carry out the removal,  disposal and decontamination for you. We are equipped with the right skills, licences and specialised equipment to get rid of asbestos-containing products for you in the safest and cleanest manner possible.

QLD Asbestos Disposal Locations:

 

  • Benaraby Landfill
  • Birkdale transfer station
  • Caboolture Waste Management Facility
  • Caloundra Landfill
  • Childers Landfill
  • Dakabin Waste Management Facility
  • Esk Refuse and Recycling Centre and Landfill
  • Goombungee Waste Management Facility
  • Jondaryan Waste Management Facility
  • Killaloe Waste & Recycling Transfer Station Landfill
  • Lakes Creek Road Landfill
  • Lochlees landfill
  • Meadowvale  Landfill
  • Millmerran Waste Management Facility
  • Nambour Landfill
  • Pittsworth Waste Management Facility
  • Quilpie Landfill
  • Qunaba Waste Management Facility
  • Roma Landfill
  • Stuart Landfill Magnetic Island Chinchilla
  • Stubley Street landfill site
  • Yarraman Waste Management Facility
  • Yeppoon Landfill

 

However, it does not mean it would be impossible for you not to dispose a product that contains asbestos on your own. Take note that if you want to eliminate some products by yourself – voluntarily or in a condition where you have no choice – it is best to take the recommended precautions as advised by your state or territory’s information and abide by the rules set by your city council for properly disposing of these products.

 

These rules include proper packaging, notification, pricing, and weight limitation. You should meet all these regulations to avoid being penalised, which may cause you additional fees.

 

In the event that you find asbestos-containing materials in your home, it would be in your best interest not to do anything with it. If it is brittle or friable, do not go near it and immediately call professionals to handle the products as airborne asbestos fibres may be present. If it is non-friable, even if it is considered to be safe, you can wrap it with plastic or place it in a secure location momentarily until you can dispose of it properly.

 

Always remember to take the necessary precautions, for example as detailed http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/asbestos-toc~asbestos-key-handle

By | 2017-08-15T06:33:41+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Asbestos News|0 Comments

Asbestos Containing Products Facts | RiverCity Asbestos Removals

One of the most commonly asked questions in Australia is “Which products contain asbestos?”

Why?

There are two primary reasons.

One, asbestos is terrifyingly dangerous to your health as it can cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Two, Australia was one of the leading users of the mineral until the manufacture, use, reuse, import and sale of all forms of asbestos products was banned in December 2003.

Some Friable asbestos products were commonly used in commercial, industrial and residential structures from the late 1800s and may still be found in buildings built before 1990.  In Australia,  non-friable asbestos cement materials bonded were first manufactured in the 1920s and were commonly used from the mid-1940s until the late 1980s. With that in mind, you should easily conclude that most of the older houses, apartments, and buildings were made of this hazardous mineral. Furthermore, most of them still stand to this day.  

You may be already exposed to it without even knowing.

Although only a few select types of products use this mineral, it is still in your best interest to know which is which to avoid contact with it as much as possible.

Asbestos in Construction Products

The most common and  readily found asbestos-containing materials can be found in:     

  • Roofing
  • Pipes
  • Fencing
  • Exterior and Interior Wall cladding
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Adhesives
  • Linoleum
  • Tiles
  • Flexible ducting
  • Corrugated paper
  • Construction mastics and gunning mix

Asbestos has been with us since ancient times as a material to strengthen pots and other cooking utensils. It was also primarily used as an extra component for construction materials. That is all due to its fire-resistant nature, making it alluring for manufacturers and contractors. Most of all, this mineral is incredibly inexpensive, giving everyone no excuse not to utilise it.

Asbestos in Auto Parts

It is also fairly common to find asbestos in vehicles today, even though most countries have banned this mineral. These are:

  • Hood Liners
  • Brake pads
  • Engine components
  • Heat seals
  • Gaskets
  • Clutches
  • Valves
  • Insulation

General Asbestos Containing Products

Aside from the two sections above, there are also some products that you should be aware of even if these products are not easy to encounter. Take note that not all of manufacturers of these products use asbestos, especially today. These are:

  • High-temp textile
  • Fireman’s blanket, suit, and rope
  • Cigarette filters
  • Electric Panels
  • Stage curtains

 

Who Are the Victims of Asbestos?

Everyone is a victim as it can be found almost everywhere. However, some specific individuals are more exposed to it than the average Joe. These are:

  • Fire-fighters: fire can quickly damage asbestos-containing materials that make its fibres airborne. Firemen may accidentally inhale these toxic fibres during duty.
  • Construction workers: as stated above, some building products are made out of this dangerous substance. Although asbestos-containing materials are exceptionally rare these days, it was very common for the past few decades. Thus, renovators and demolition crews may be faced with them when working with older buildings.
  • Industrial workers: those who work at a manufacturing plant that focuses on creating automotive parts or vinyl and linoleum may be at risk.
  • Shipyard workers: most Navy ships and merchant ships are heavily enforced with asbestos insulation to prevent ship fire and control engine heat. Overtime, ships have to be maintained and, again, reinforced with new insulation. Taking out the old insulation panels and parts significantly expose most of the workers to extremely high amounts.
  • Power plantation workers: almost every power plant in the world relies on asbestos to make sure their pipes are properly insulated. Workers are often responsible for keeping them in good condition, and part of it is to cut old pipes and replace them with new ones.

What ended the Legal use of Asbestos?

Even though asbestos has provided humankind with an abundant, affordable supply of fireproofing agent, it also had its major drawbacks – health issues. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that can be found almost everywhere in our environment. However, we are only exposed to it at exceptionally low doses, which pose no harm to humans. But when it comes to manufactured asbestos products that are merely within arm’s reach, being in contact with it can cause deadly lung diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Most often, these terrible conditions do not occur instantly, and some may even take as long as 20 years to surface.

 

Today, most countries worldwide banned all asbestos-containing materials. However, there are exceptions such as automotive parts, especially brake pads, which are deemed necessary for the mineral to be used.

By | 2017-08-15T06:34:23+00:00 July 11th, 2017|Asbestos News|0 Comments

Asbestos removal cost in Brisbane – Why a site visit is essential

If you own an older home or commercial/office establishment, chances are your structure might have asbestos insulation. Asbestos is generally known as a health risk that increases lung cancer. If you are sure that your building has asbestos, please note that this substance can be found in both interior and exterior items from your fence posts to gutters to even the flooring of your building. It would be a very bad idea to take out these items yourself.

First, you would need to know the proper way to remove asbestos without stirring up its fibers and dust. Second, you would have to have a government-approved dumping site for this toxic material. Third, throughout the whole removal process, you need to keep yourself safe and ensure that you or those helping you don’t inhale any asbestos fiber. Talk about a tall order. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this yourself. Protect yourself and your family’s health by hiring a professional asbestos removal firm.

Before you hire an asbestos removal company, please read the guide below so you can get a good idea of the costs involved in properly removing asbestos from your home or building.

 

How Asbestos Costs are Formulated


There are many factors that influence the cost of any removal project: type, location, obstacles, amount to be removed, accessibility. To get the most accurate pricing, you need to set up an on-site estimate with several removal companies in your area. Still, you can use the cost formulation guide below to get a rough idea of how much it will cost to finally make your home or structure asbestos-free.

Keep the in mind that accessibility issues like steep roofs, high locations, the presence of trees and shrubbery can make removal more labor intensive. The more time the contractor has to spend in preparing the area for easier access, the more your costs go up. To save on time and costs, try taking pictures of the areas you’d like the contractor to work on. This way, they can give you an advance quote without stepping foot on your property. You might be able to get cheaper prices because the contractor saves the time and effort they would have spent if they had to do a physical inspection.

 

Be aware of economies of scale

As a rule of thumb, the more asbestos you need removed, in terms of square meters, the cheaper it will be on a per square meter basis. If you’re thinking of having this harmful substance removed in phases, you might want to reconsider-you’ll end up with greater savings if you had it all taken care of in one go.


Does the asbestos ABSOLUTELY need to be removed?


If you’re worried about costs, you might want to think about how sealed in the asbestos is. If it is completely self-contained and there’s almost no chance of its fibers being knocked loose, you can save a ton of money by simply leaving it as is. For example, you can safely leave intact internal asbestos cladding or sheeting that isn’t exposed and is properly sealed or painted over. Alternatively, you can opt to paint over asbestos items to seal in all fibers.


You might want to consider the removal alternatives above because interior asbestos removal is normally very expensive. Government-required removal and cleanup safety procedures hire interior asbestos removal costs are the main reasons why internal removal work is often way more expensive than exterior removal jobs.

Keep in mind the reasons for the higher costs of internal asbestos removal

Improper or sloppy interior asbestos removal can lead to the contamination of your whole home as harmful asbestos fiber floats in the air and gets trapped by any interior fabric items like clothing, bedding, curtains, drapes, and others. Proper procedures to prevent contaminator cost more. You also have to spend extra on an asbestos fiber air monitoring analysis to make sure your home’s interior is absolutely free of airborne fibers. Monitoring typically costs between $1000 and $1500.

 

External asbestos issues

While external items cost less to remove, they can also be quite hazardous. Outdoor asbestos-containing items like external cladding, roofing, and fencing can get broken down by the elements. Thanks to their exposure to the wind, rain, and extreme temperature swings between hot and cold, these items might get so worn down that they release asbestos fibers to nearby areas. These contaminated exterior areas can pose a hazard to your kids as they play outdoors.

 

Know your exposure risks

Smokers, small children, and females are at most risk from asbestos disease. In fact, according to one study, smokers have an 800 percent increased risk of death from asbestos disease compared to non-smokers. Another troubling fact you need to be aware of is a recent study indicates that there has been a 250 percent increase in deaths of men due to asbestos disease. This exposure was due to DIY renovation work.

Take note that even a single exposure to a high dosage of asbestos can cause lung and other health issues in the future. For example, many people suffering from a form of lung cancer called mesothelioma never dealt with asbestos at work. Their exposure came from internal home renovations performed when they were children.

By | 2017-08-02T01:36:18+00:00 February 14th, 2017|Asbestos News|0 Comments

Where is Asbestos Commonly Found in Australia?

Where Asbestos is commonly found

More than 10,000 Australians died from the rare cancer, mesothelioma caused by asbestos in the last 35 years. This means Australia has the worst death rate from this disease in the world, second only to the United Kingdom. It does not end there. Cancer specialists predict a further 25,000 deaths in the next 40 years. In 2014, there were 641 deaths from mesothelioma, and the figures indicate asbestos-related deaths are slowly increasing.

Asbestos in Australia

Australia had a huge asbestos mining industry centred mainly in West Australia, New South Wales and Queensland until asbestos health hazards became better understood. The asbestos mining town Wittenoom in West Australia stands deserted as a harsh reminder of its past. The area is too dangerous and the West Australian government recently removed its status as a town. It stands today waiting to return to dust.

The distribution and use of asbestos products across Australia means it is widespread in buildings and homes built before 1990. Since Australia banned asbestos of any kind in 2003, there has been increasing numbers of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases (lung cancer and mesothelioma, for example) in every Australian state. Asbestos has a latent period of between 20 and 30 years after exposure before symptoms can show up.  

Where you find asbestos

Asbestos is still everywhere though Australia we talked about it recently here. It was banned however for production, use and import in 2003. Its uses were wide and varied, and asbestos may still be found in old products such as:

  • cement sheeting used for buildings, water and sewerage pipes, as fire protection products, to protect electrical wire and in switchboards, and for tanks for holding chemicals
  • asbestos paper used in wire insulation, floor underlays, components in small appliances and in mats used for heat protection
  • asbestos textiles used in heaters, roofing materials and some packing materials
  • in automotive parts like brake linings and clutch facings
  • sealants, paint, floor and ceiling tiles, gaskets and packing products.

Asbestos around the home

Buying an old house may bring you problems if it has asbestos products. So how do you know? You cannot tell just by looking at asbestos. You need a professional analysis to be sure. A house built after 1990 is unlikely to contain asbestos. Homes built from the mid-1980s to 1990 will probably contain asbestos, and those built before the mid-1980s are very like to have asbestos. So where are you likely to find it round your home? Here are some examples:

  • Asbestos insulation around old water pipes and flues – these release dangerous fibres if not handled correctly when removing or repairing them.
  • Roofing materials and shingles – these are not likely to release fibres unless you drill, saw or cut them.
  • Siding (Fibrolite products, for example) and cladding for interior and exterior walls (such as the backing on some old brick cladding popular in the 1970s).
  • In fibro sheets under the eaves, so be careful when renovating as it will release dangerous fibres if you break it (today modern fibro does not contain asbestos).
  • Asbestos thermal boards around old fireplaces – when removing these they must be handled using safety precautions as they will release airborne fibres when you disturb them.
  • Gaskets around old fireplace doors – worn asbestos gaskets release dangerous fibres when worn and still in use.
  • Old artificial embers and ash, some old hairdryers, old fencing, ironing board covers, stove top covers, glues and fireproof gloves were made containing asbestos for its fire resistance.

There is no one place in Australia you can be safely confident of buying a property without asbestos in it if built before 1990. Australia began phasing out production of asbestos products in the 1980s with asbestos flat sheeting phased out between 1981 and 1983, corrugated products in 1985, asbestos pipes in 1987, and brake pads and brake lining in 2003.

Asbestos is completely banned in Australia. No new materials containing asbestos are allowed into the country. However, as recently as 2015 a Senate enquiry found building products imported from China contained white asbestos and dozens of building sites were contaminated with these imports. Authorities are now working with the installers to remove all imported products that contain asbestos.

Asbestos is slowly being removed from Australian homes as people renovate, demolish and rebuild, but it will be many years before Australia has cleaned up asbestos completely. But, its health effects will be a reminder of the devastating effects of Australia’s history of asbestos use.

 

By | 2017-08-15T06:35:17+00:00 September 5th, 2016|Asbestos News|0 Comments

The dangers of removing Asbestos yourself 2016

The dangers of removing Asbestos yourself 2016

A dangerous legacy of the past, asbestos still remains a threat in many Australian homes. Australia’s housing industry boomed, and from the 1940s up until the late 1980s asbestos products were used in hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings around the country.

So, if your home was built before 1990, it is likely to contain asbestos of some sort. When planning to renovate or if you suspect asbestos in your home, there are dangers in removing asbestos yourself.

Asbestos products became popular because they were cost-effective, fire-resistant, strong and durable, and made new housing affordable. Australia finally banned the importing, using or reusing, selling, manufacturing, supplying or storage of asbestos products of any sort after the negative effects of asbestos became known.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos generically refers to fibrous silicate materials existing naturally in certain environments. These tiny natural fibres are up to 200 times finer than our hair and can drift in the atmosphere for a long time. They are invisible and you can inhale them into your lungs. In the 1990s doctors began reporting health concerns surrounding people in contact and working with asbestos

Mining these materials was popular for many years to meet the high demand for asbestos products, particularly in the building industry. Asbestos cement was commonly used in fibro sheeting, corrugated roof sheeting, downpipes, water pipes, gutters, drains and roof shingles, and coverings for electrical wires.

Dangers of asbestos

It is almost impossible to avoid exposure to asbestos at some time your life, but risks from exposure are small for most people. The dangers of asbestos use were unknown until doctors began seeing asbestos workers with medical problems related to asbestos too often. Eventually scientific knowledge found the tiny asbestos fibres and dust inhaled into the lungs by asbestos workers were causing life threatening illnesses.

Disturbing asbestos creates fibres and dust can be easily inhaled. When breathed in, it breaks downs into minute pieces to puncture the lining around the lungs to embed itself there forever. The human body cannot remove asbestos from the system, and can cause:

  • mesothelioma
  • asbestosis
  • lung cancer
  • cancer in the intestinal tract
  • pleural plaques.

Help! I think I have asbestos.

If you suspect you have asbestos in your home or building, do not disturb or remove it until you have more information. You can risk the health of your family, friends and neighbours. Undamaged asbestos poses no threat so do not panic. But if it is deteriorating, breaking down or is in generally poor condition then this is a health threat to your family and, possibly, your neighbours.

More than 2,000 people a year are still being diagnosed with asbestos related diseases in Australia. Asbestos affects people in different ways. Some people contract mesothelioma after only a brief exposure to the fibres, others after long periods of exposure, and some people get sick decades after removing it from their homes or washing the clothes of asbestos workers. While you can remove asbestos from your home following strict removal guidelines, you are best to seek the advice of a professional asbestos removalist.

Important things to remember if you suspect the presence of asbestos:

  • Exposure to asbestos fibres is never safe.
  • Asbestos that is deteriorating or broken releases fibres and fine dust into the air which you may inhale.
  • Breathing asbestos fibres into your lungs can cause life-threatening diseases such a mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
  • There is no cure for mesothelioma and the rate of its diagnosis is rising.
  • The length of exposure to asbestos fibres is relative to your risk of contracting a related health issue.
  • Asbestos related diseases lie dormant for 20 to 30 years before symptoms develop.

Always take safety precautions if working or handling asbestos, and talk to professionals for the best advice!

By | 2017-08-03T02:20:22+00:00 August 9th, 2016|Asbestos News|0 Comments

Replacing your Asbestos Filled Roof

Many houses around Brisbane have asbestos roofing when built many years ago. This puts home owners and their families at risk of breathing in asbestos fibres. As asbestos roof material deteriorates it releases toxic fibres into the air.

Asbestos was a common building material in the early days in Brisbane. Since then its toxicity has come to light. Breathing in its fibres can cause serious illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. In 2001, asbestos was designated as a hazardous substance with the government bringing in legislation for the safe handling of the material. Brisbane residents must rely on licenced expert for asbestos roofing replacement.

Call in the experts

Not just anyone can complete an asbestos roof replacement. You cannot just get up onto the roof to remove asbestos yourself. Doing this could put yourself, and anyone in the immediate vicinity at risk of asbestos contamination. Call in asbestos specialists to remove the roof. Removing asbestos is risky business. Asbestos experts assess your roof, and carry out the controlled removal of the old asbestos roof ready for a roof replacement.

Asbestos identification

During Brisbane’s early building boom, builders commonly used either asbestos corrugated roofing sheets or tiles for the roofs of new houses. The asbestos used in Australian buildings is white asbestos. It was cheap, and easy to get and to use. Never did they realise the danger the material posed as it aged decades later.

Steps for removing asbestos from your roof

Asbestos roof replacement is an important step towards securing your family’s safety. Replacing asbestos from Brisbane building roofs is a difficult process. But, the professionals have the right equipment and expert knowledge to:

  1. Stabilise the asbestos. Asbestos fibers can break free even with careful handling. For safety reasons, PVA glue is sprayed over the roof at the start of the job. When this coating dries, it ensures that any loose asbestos fibers do not break loose during the removal process.
  2. Remove the screws. All screws holding the asbestos to the roof are loosened and removed.
  3. Remove equipment installed on the roof. Many Brisbane homes have an air conditioner and solar panels installed on the roof. These need careful removal before removing the asbestos.
  4. Remove the asbestos. Because of the fragile nature of asbestos, roof removalists cannot risk breaking the sheets or tiles. Breaking them risks poisonous fibers entering into the environment for others to breathe in. We carefully lower the asbestos either by hand or using a mechanical life.
  5. Wrapping the asbestos. Asbestos disintegrates very easily when handled roughly so we wrap it in special plastic and seal it before removing it from the site. This ensures the worksite remains safe from contamination.
  6. Clean the roof. The roof is thoroughly cleaned, including the ceiling space and walls, using industrial strength vacuum cleaners. It is important to remove all traces of asbestos fibres now the asbestos has gone.
  7. Seal the roof. After careful removal of the asbestos and thorough clean, there is still a risk of unseen fibers lurking in ceiling, wall and roof spaces. Again, we spray a coat of PVA glue to stabilise any unseen fragments left behind. This gives home owners peace of mind.

For safe asbestos roof replacement, you need to start with a clean space. Once the asbestos is gone, and the roof area stabilised, you can have a new roof of any material of your choice installed.

If you need an asbestos roof replaced in Brisbane, it may now be time to act. You do not want an asbestos roof to compromise the safety of you and your family, or the environment you live in.

By | 2017-08-15T06:51:36+00:00 February 24th, 2016|Asbestos News|1 Comment

Industry warns low density fibre board (LDB) “very dangerous” despite State Government downgrading risk

Home owners have been exposed to dangerous crumbling asbestos after an error in guidelines supposed to make houses and businesses safe.

State Government guidelines have reclassified low density fibre board, LDB, from a “high risk” friable asbestos product to a bonded one, making it far cheaper to remove but, industry groups say, ignoring how much more dangerous it is to handle.

Low density fibre board, which is still classified as friable in NSW and other states breaks apart easily when disturbed, releasing dangerous fibres.

LDB was used extensively throughout Queensland prior to 1983. Hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings, including thousands of schools and public buildings, have LDB.

Asbestosis victim and Asbestos Related Disease Support Society secretary Ray Colbert said the government was acting against longstanding policies.

“It’s totally crazy. There are going to be more people exposed and a greater contamination of the work sites,” he said.

“We have major concerns.”

Requests for interviews with Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and his Workplace Health and Safety Queensland policy adviser Paul Goldsbrough were declined.

A spokeswoman for Mr Bleijie provided a statement saying the minister took managing asbestos “very seriously,” was consulting with stakeholders, and wanted policy consistent with other states.

Reclassification makes removing LDB cheaper by dropping most of the worksite safeguards, including use of special equipment, training and air filtering and monitoring.

It also makes it easier for low-cost contractors to undercut experienced asbestos firms on tenders.

The State Government says the guidelines were changed in error and would be corrected.

Andrew Ramsey, workplace health and safety co-ordinator for the Queensland CFMEU, said “watering down” asbestos regulations was “just crazy” at a time when they should maintained or increased.

“They are messing with people’s lives,” he said. “People working with asbestos can be lured into a false sense of security.

“It’s not something that belts you in the ear right away. It sneaks up on you. It’s not a good way to die.”

Michael Shepherd, president of the Asbestos Industry Association, said his members were blindsided several months ago when the classification changed on its website and in published materials.

“We have been trying to work with the government to get them to understand but we’re getting stonewalled. They’re not responsive,” he said.

Trevor Lyons, president of DRACA, the Demolishers, Recyclers & Asbestos Contractors Association, branded the change “narrow minded” and said Queensland had no reason to treat the removal of LDB differently from other states. There was no question it was friable.

“A lot of that LDB is very easy to crumble and release fibres. There should be no variations of classification from state to state,” he said.

“They already deemed it dangerous. They can’t backtrack now.”

Even when workers take great care not to break the asbestos boards, it can’t be removed without breaking.

“There’s always a per cent of breakage and damage to the sheet,” he said.

“It can’t be avoided. Fibres get released.”

Air testing conducted during LCD removal jobs showed up to 500,000 fibres per cubic metre of air being released, well above the reportable level. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibre.

Mr Ramsey said there was “no consultation at all” with the union prior. The old LDB classification “mysteriously dropped out one day” from the government website.

Workers with only a B class licence would be able to remove LDB in without fully enclosing the contaminated area, using machines to suck up fibres, and conducting air testing to check fibre levels. Workers also do not have to wear highly protective respirators or undergo a five-stage decontamination shower.

Without air testing, high asbestos fibre readings no longer have to be reported to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

Home owners also can remove up to 10 cubic metres of LDB from their homes without a licence.

Sourced from the Courier Mail

By | 2017-08-15T06:51:56+00:00 December 5th, 2013|Asbestos News|0 Comments