Common Types Of Asbestos In New Zealand Homes.

Learn More About The Types Of Asbestos And Where They Are Commonly Found.
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What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is an umbrella name for a group of natural minerals made up of many small fibres, which are incredibly strong and resitant to things like fire, wear and tear due to friction and different chemicals. 

Why Is Asbestos So Dangerous?

Asbestos becomes a risk when you breathe in the fibres. Since there are different types of asbestos, the health risks vary between them. 

These small fibres can more easily get stuck in your lungs and increase your risk for diseases. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies all types of asbestos as a Group 1 carcinogen. 

It is largely known that asbestos can cause a variety of lung diseases and illnesses such as:

  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural disease
  • Mesothelioma
  • Other lung cancers

Mesothelioma has close associations with asbestos since it is a rare disease and takes up to 40 years at times for presentation of the disease after exposure. 

Some researchers have looked into other cancers from asbestos exposure. One study examined the risk of asbestos exposure for pleural malignancies, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and asbestosis. 

asbesots test coimmercial

Asbestos Roofs

There are 3 main types of asbestos roofing in New Zealand. Read below and see if any of these roofs look like your roof!

Asbestos Decramastic Tile

Almost 50% of decramastic tile roofs come back positive for containing asbestos in the glue of the tile.

Super Six/Fibre Cement Roofing

Almost all commercial and residential fibre cement/ super six roofs in New Zealand Contain asbesots.

Asbestos Shingle Roofs

Asbestos Shingles are one of the least common types of asbestos roofing in New Zealand. Generally they are best replaced with asphalt shingle roofing due to the nature and style of the roof.

locations of asbestos in nz homes

Common Materials That May Contain Asbestos In NZ Homes

  • Vinyl Flooring
  • Cladding, including baseboards
  • Wet area lining substrate
  • Electrical meter board
  • Compressed sheeting
  • Soffits
  • Asbestos Roofing panels, eg ‘Asbestos Super Six’
  • Exterior window flashing
  • Toilet seat and cistern
  • Bath panel
  • Hotwater cupboard lining
  • Water tank
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Textured ceiling
  • Interior window panel
  • Gutters and downpipes
  • Fireplace surrounding
  • Garage cladding
  • Fence panels
  • Stormwater trap
  • Stormwater and sewage piping
  • Loose fill insulation
  • Partition wall

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Common Materials That May Contain Asbestos In NZ Commerical Buildings

Asbestos is found in many different buildings and products. Asbestos in commercial buildings can cause a variety of negative health effects due to the expansive nature of these buildings and how many people they hold. 

New Zealand found almost 4,000 different products that contained asbestos. Typically, asbestos in your home is not harmful unless it becomes airborne. If a home or building is in good standing condition, then the risk of exposure is much lower. 

However, it pays to be aware of some common occurrences that your building or house may have asbestos. One of the main signs a building used asbestos is if it was constructed between the 1950s to 1980s. 

During this time, asbestos was widely used in many products for constructing buildings. Homes and other commercial buildings that have undergone renovations since that time have likely been treated for asbestos. However, if you live somewhere that hasn’t had recent upgrades, then you have a higher risk of exposure. 

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult in locating asbestos just by looking at a building. If there is crumbling drywall or insulation or the building is older, it is best to have it checked out by professionals. 

In order to differentiate between the types of asbestos, professionals look at the chemical makeup of their samples. The serpentine family includes chrysotile and looks like a sheet of crystals with curlier fibres.

The amphibole family takes on a more needle-like appearance. Amosite and crocidolite are two of the most common types of this asbestos. Because of its needle-like appearance, it has smaller fibres that when released, pose a greater risk for your health. 

  • Vinyl Flooring
  • Cladding, including baseboards
  • Wet area lining substrate
  • Electrical meter board
  • Compressed sheeting
  • Soffits
  • Asbestos Roofing panels, eg ‘Asbestos Super Six’
  • Exterior window flashing
  • Toilet seat and cistern
  • Bath panel
  • Hotwater cupboard lining
  • Water tank
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Textured ceiling
  • Interior window panel
  • Gutters and downpipes
  • Fireplace surrounding
  • Garage cladding
  • Fence panels
  • Stormwater trap
  • Stormwater and sewage piping
  • Loose fill insulation
  • Partition wall
asbestos locations in a commercial building

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