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What Do I Do If I Find Asbestos In NZ?


Think you’ve discovered asbestos in your home or workplace? Asbestos Removals Marlborough looks at what you should do if you find asbestos in New Zealand to keep yourself and your family safe.


In New Zealand, asbestos was officially banned, including all products back in October 2016. While the importation of blue and brown asbestos in its raw state was banned since 1984 and white asbestos since 1999. However, asbestos is still commonly found in many buildings and homes around the country. With the rise of DIY renovations and renovations as a whole, this nasty toxic fibre is still widespread across New Zealand, with many unsuspecting workers and homeowners coming into contact and becoming unwillingly exposed.


Asbestos can kill and lead to horrific illnesses that can appear long after exposure. It’s for this reason that care and expert advice is paramount when dealing with this toxic fibre. Sadly, asbestos is still considered New Zealand's number one workplace killer, it was this reason the Government introduced stricter Health and Safety Work Regulations back in 2016.




Asbestos, when disturbed or broken, can easily become airborne and lodge in the lungs and body leading to diseases with asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer is the most common. The seriousness of contact with this toxic fibre is well-known. However, many do not realize that it can be lurking behind walls, on the floor, or on roofs of homes and workplaces.


Even though Asbestos is banned in NZ, it was once used for all purposes and is still commonly found around the country.


What should I do if I suspect Asbestos has been found?

  1. Immediately stop all work

  2. Clear the area

  3. Keep others away from the area

  4. Prevent further contamination of other areas

  5. Contact a professional and certified asbestos removal expert


If asbestos is suspected it is important to follow the above steps and call in the professionals for a test to determine if you do have asbestos. A professional will be able to determine what type of asbestos you have, and how to correctly remove it.


There are two types of licenses when it comes to the removal of asbestos in New Zealand. This includes Type Class A and Type Class B.


A class A asbestos removal expert can remove friable asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. This also includes dust and debris and non-friable asbestos and materials containing asbestos.


A class B asbestos removal expert can remove non-friable asbestos and asbestos-containing materials and any asbestos dust and debris caused by this removal of non-friable asbestos.


Homeowners can remove less than 10m2 or less of non-friable asbestos, however, with the risks to health and safety it is always best to call in a professional. Particularly when it comes to the future of your health and safety for not only yourself but also your family and others.


Not removing asbestos dust correctly can leave you with a contaminated space – that may be very costly to correct. Not to mention the risk it poses to your health.


WorkSafe has been busy updating its code of conduct when it comes to the safe removal of asbestos to keep the New Zealand population safe from contamination, and also to protect those who undertake this work. If you suspect you may have asbestos in your DIY or home renovation, getting expert advice is key to keeping you safe from harm.


Where is Asbestos Commonly found?

  1. Vinyl flooring

  2. Insulation

  3. Decorative sprays – textures ceilings and linings

  4. Roofs

  5. Popcorn ceilings

  6. Cement cladding

  7. Corrugated super 6 roofs

  8. Powerboards

  9. Asbestos backed floor coverings

  10. Fireplace rope



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