Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Friable and non-friable asbestos

Asbestos-containing materials are either friable or non-friable.

Friable asbestos is high risk. Friable asbestos can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure.

Non-friable asbestos is lower risk. It is mixed with cement or other hard bonding materials. Non-friable asbestos can become friable if damaged or old. 

Where will I find friable or non-friable asbestos?

Use our Asbestos Checker to see common asbestos products. If you think it might be asbestos, treat it like it is.
Couple sitting on floor in room with ladder and packing boxes

What are friable asbestos products?

Examples of common friable asbestos products include:

  • insulation around hot water pipes
  • asbestos rope
  • loose-fill asbestos, like Mr Fluffy.

What are non-friable asbestos products?

Examples of common non-friable asbestos products include:

  • asbestos cement
  • asbestos cement sheeting (also knowns as ‘fibro’)
  • vinyl asbestos floor tiles.

How can I identify friable or non-friable asbestos?

Use our Asbestos Checker if you think you may have asbestos in your home or on your work site.

You can’t confirm asbestos by sight or smell. Use a licensed asbestos assessor, who will test the sample to confirm asbestos.

How do I remove friable or non-friable asbestos? 

We always recommend a licensed professional removes asbestos. It is a job that requires training and experience to do safely. 

There are different rules around unlicensed removal of friable and non-friable asbestos. Know what you can and can’t do, and always follow the safety precautions in the SafeWork Code of Practice