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Unlicensed asbestos removal

Unlicensed asbestos removal is when:

  • a homeowner removes any amount of asbestos themselves, or
  • a tradesperson removes less than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos themselves.

It is legal to remove asbestos yourself, but we strongly recommend asbestos is removed by a licensed removalist. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. 

The amount of asbestos to be removed guides the next steps for who can remove and dispose of asbestos waste.

Is it asbestos?

Use the Asbestos Checker to see if a material might be asbestos based on where it is found and what it looks like.
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Can I remove asbestos in my home myself? 

You can remove asbestos in your home yourself, but asbestos removal is a health risk. Removal needs planning, preparation and strict safety standards. If you suspect asbestos, you have a duty to protect others from harm.  

Confirm if your property contains asbestos, where it is, and how much. 

Use the right tools and PPE.  

Understand how to decontiminate asbestos removal, and dispose of asbestos waste.  

Follow the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice safety precautions for asbestos removal.    

How can I measure 10m2 of asbestos?   

A guide to the 10m2 rule 

10m2 = 5m x 2m wall 

10m2 = wall sheeting from one small bathroom 

Can I remove friable asbestos myself? 

Friable asbestos is much more likely to release dangerous asbestos fibres into the air.  

Friable asbestos removal is high risk work under NSW Workplace Health and Safety law.  

We strongly recommend a Class A licensed asbestos removalist to remove friable asbestos.  

Can a tradesperson remove asbestos from homes?  

A licensed asbestos removalist with a Class A licence must remove any amount of friable asbestos. Tradespeople are not qualified or permitted to remove friable asbestos.

What are the types of asbestos removal licenses?

Class A licensed asbestos removalists can remove friable and non-friable asbestos.   

Class B licensed asbestos removalist can only remove non-friable asbestos.  

Licensed asbestos removalists know how to manage asbestos to keep everyone safe and dispose of the waste. 

Removing more than 10m2 of asbestos 

Under health and safety laws, more than 10m2 of any asbestos must be removed by a licensed asbestos removalist

The removalist must: 

  • notify SafeWork of the removal 
  • display warning signs 
  • follow the SafeWork Code of Practice for safe asbestos removal 
  • use the right tools and PPE 
  • decontaminate people, work areas, and tools. 

If the removalist removes more than 10m2 or 100kg of asbestos waste, it must be tracked using WasteLocate.  

Friable asbestos removal  

Tradespeople are not qualified or permitted to remove friable asbestos. A licensed asbestos removalist with a Class A licence must remove any amount of friable asbestos.  

In addition to the steps above, for friable asbestos removal the removalist must also: 

  • seal off the asbestos work area from the rest of the house and property 

  • undertake air monitoring to ensure appropriate removal methods are being used.

You will need a clearance certificate from the licensed removalist when friable asbestos removal is complete. 

If the asbestos is non-friable and less than 10m2

A tradesperson doesn’t need to be a licensed asbestos removalist to remove less than 10m2 or 100kg of non-friable asbestos from your home. 

They must still follow strict safety standards including the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice

Do I need approval to remove asbestos? 

Some asbestos removal work may require a clearance certificate 58 from a licensed asbestos assessor or removalist.  

Contact your local council for more details. 

Disposing of more than 10m2 of asbestos  

Asbestos must be disposed of at a licensed landfill that accepts asbestos waste.  

If you need to transport more than 10m2 or 100kg of asbestos waste, use the EPA’s WasteLocate system. This applies whether you remove asbestos yourself, or if a professional does it.  We strongly recommend that you use a licensed asbestos removalist, who will know how to use WasteLocate and help you comply with the law.