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When was asbestos banned in Australia?

 Australia phased out the use of asbestos from the 1980s and banned it’s use, sale or import in 2003.

Before it was banned, asbestos was used in over 3000 products including construction materials and vehicles. Many homes and buildings built or renovated before 1990 still contain asbestos. If you’re renovating, rebuilding or repairing, be asbestos aware.

Asbestos can also be found in older vehicles


Is asbestos a health risk?

Discover the health risks of asbestos exposure
Parents with young daughter sitting on floor surrounded by renovation materials

When was asbestos first used in NSW and Australian homes? 

1880s: used for fireproofing, soundproofing and insulation

1920s: manufacturing of asbestos-containing materials begins in Australia 

1920s-Mid-1940s: asbestos is widely used in residential building   

Up to 1990s: asbestos-containing materials used in millions of Australian homes.

When did asbestos stop being used in homes in NSW? 

Asbestos was totally banned in NSW and Australia from 31 December 2003.  

Asbestos is illegal to: 

  • use or re-use 

  • manufacture 

  • import 

  • transport 

  • store 

  • sell.  

Why was asbestos banned in Australia? 

There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos contains fibres that can cause life-threatening health conditions if you breathe them in.  

Australia had one of the highest rates of asbestos use per person in the world until the 1980s. We imported 1.5 million tonnes of asbestos between 1930 and 1983, and asbestos was mined in Australia until 1984. 

Reducing the risk of asbestos exposure 

You can’t tell if building materials or vehicle parts contain asbestos just by looking at them.  

The best way to reduce the risk is to be asbestos aware. This means if you think it might be asbestos, treat it like it is. If you’re not sure, use a licensed asbestos assessor to check things out.  

If you do have asbestos, then reduce the risk by planning to have it safely removed. Use a licensed asbestos removalist to keep you and others safe.