澳洲Australia property ASBESTOS, or not? Help needed URGENT | Sy

在澳大利亚 Hi all, I currently have a PPOR and 10K cash in the bank which I plan to use as a deposit for a IP early next year. Is it possible for me to place this into my PPOR loan and then redraw the 10K when Im ready for the IP and then claim the int Hi Guys, Ive found a property that has mentioned two payments coming up of $1400 to apparently top up the admin fund and 2 have just been paid. Im looking at a financial statement (basically a balance sheet) for the strata and its all a bit

Just ripped off an architrave, and above the gyprock line there is another sheeting, it is a brownish colour (funny shade of brown, slightly green), it is stringy, looks like mulched wet paper. Could this be asbestos, if so what should I do?

Someone told me they use to used mulched carboard compressed as a sheeting in those days.

Its a mid 50s weatherboard Qld cottage.

A bit scary.

At the gyprock line and this sheeting they have a timber trim, which I presume is to cover the fact that the sheets are different thickness.  

Just spoke to a local MB, he said that asbestos sheeting is hard, and if old maybe brittle.

I broke a piece off very easily, it didnt crumble, it kind of bent off, it is soft, almost damp like, and has brown fibers in it, like really thick horse hiar, maybe even thicker, the bonding agent is brown also but a funny shade of brown. This is between a paper like topping.

How thick are the fibers in asbestos fibro?

The MB thinks is almost positive it is something called canonite (what is the correct spelling?)

He put my mind at rest that Im unlikely to have enhaled enough to die from it either way.

How would I know for sure?  

I read you first post and was going to tell you run and dont look back!!! then i read your second and calmed down.

Your safe, i cant remember the name of the stuff but its not asbestos. Its an old form of plaster sheeting - before gyprock was made. The join must be under the picture rail, dont know why they are different thickness tho.  

Thanks Brains

I am going out of my mind with worry.

Im thinking I will be gone by the morning.

I have taped it up all the same, hope thats a smart move.

Does anyone know the name of the stuff brains is refering to?

You can actually see its fibers, and the fibers are amongst this plyable soft paper like substance.

I was gonna close the wall in myself, should I get someone else to do it.

Ok now Im just getting paranoid.

Picture rail, thats is, and why would they have installed gyp rock only down the bottom? If it was asbestos surely they would have had to remove the top as well as the bottom?  

Don't panick

Asbestos in itself is not dangerous - it is the dust from asbestos that is the killer. And you're not going to cark it from touching it, so don't worry.

It's the tiny fibres from the dust that get into your lungs and eventually kill you but you would have to be inhaling quite a bit for it to effect you - and it's over time.

I don't know about in Australia but here you also have to watch over for the old textured ceilings, I think it's anything pre 70's that had it in it. So if you start sanding that or pulling a ceiling down - you can be in big trouble, healthwise and OSH wise.

Anyway, I was told by someone recently that some imported tiles and vinyls still contain asbestos, so the stuff is still around. It's apparently not an advertised fact. Not sure how true this is.

One way we were told to check if vinyl (lino) had an asbestos backing is to pull a little bit off, and light it with a match. It will initially catch fire and then go out, and then it will just goe smokey and if it contains asbestos and the smell (it's disgusting) will tell you it's in there. If it doesn't have asbestos in it - it will just burn.

Maybe you could try that test. The smell is quite strong. Anyway if you have no intention of removing it, just leave it alone.

We have alot of old Housing NZ slate looking houses here, and I just found out that's it's actually asbestos tile cladding. I always thought it was slate.  

Thanks Queen Bee, your relaxing me out (I just started a new catch phrase).

I was really worried, Im so paranoid about things like that, I wont mix mortar without a dust mask on.

So was Asbestos used instead of Gyprock in the old days (1955) and if so what would it look and feel like?

Ok so just because I moved the architrave and some of the loose material fell to the ground, that doesnt mean I will have got a bad dose? (providing it is asbestos). Just finish the job off as per normal.  

Don't worry about it too much. Just wear a mask. What are you doing to it anyway?

You'll know if you've got asbestos on you, you'll get itchy. Wear protective clothing and gloves just in case.

I think asbestos was just used everyone in the old days, willy nilly because they didn't realise it was dangerous.

Just like they are now finding out that treated wood is really dangerous and that if you've built a wooden deck that has been treated, everytime you touch it you are enabling your body to absorb all the toxic chemicals in it, and stuffing up your immune system. Treated wood contains arsenic, that's why you should never burn treated wood in your wood burners because the fumes will poisen you.

Have you guys heard much about this issue in Aussie?  

Thats right Queen Bee. I have come across the lino on occasions, and half the time you don't6 even need to light it, it has a distinct smell already.
As for Dynamite, another way to evaluate if the sheeting is Asbestos (by the way what you have described sounds like either canite or masonite not Asbestos) is to check the back.

Asbestos has a honeycomb pattern on the back. It looks exactly like Concrete sheets or tile underlay.

Canite is also known as soft board. It, still in use as pinboards and for suspended ceilings. 16-18mm thick

Masonite is brown and 6mm thick (Same thickness as Asbestos)
Same technology used to manufacture particle board, MDF or custom wood, and masonite. Therefore masonite will resemble a cross between MDF and Particle board.

Hope this helps you and not confuse you.

By the way, a little bit of trivia for you.
Did you know that the vast majority of people that died from asbestosis in the mines were---SMOKERS! Coincidence?
Me thinks not!!!


thanks gecho1

The more i hear about it, it seems it isnt that dangerous if you just find it by accident?

so asbestos was used in wall linings (internal)?

so it is a hard material?  


If you are going into building or renovations on a more than casual basis you really should do yourself a favour and have a good wander around Bunnings and look at the materials on display there.

Examine the timbers, plasters, glues etc, and while you're there, stock up on respirators, ear muffs and safety goggles, as well as gauntlet, waterproof and light weight gloves, disposable overalls and paper 'shower caps'.

From the tone of your posts today, you were really very worried, and yet you pulled the wall covering off and then broke a piece off the suspect material without knowing what it was.

Yes, there is plenty of asbestos around, also white tailed spiders, red backs, sharp rusty nails and toxic glues.

Did you know that MDF has been banned in most parts of America, as the glue gives off toxic fumes when hot (have you ever smelt that? It smells like a crematorium - scorching hooves & horns!!)

Harvey Industries has lots of information available on asbestos cement products. Asbestos has not been used since around 1985, and all cement sheet products since then have a manufacturers mark on them. Pre 1985 sheeting doesn't, and is a dull grey colour. A broken edge will clearly show the crocidolite crystal formation embedded in the cement. The crystals are very slender, clear, and are sharply pointed at both ends. They look as if they have shattered into fragments, and it is the sharpness which makes them so dangerous to lungs. The tiny shards become imbedded in the soft tissue and cannot be coughed out. Over time they may cause damage to alveolei causing bleeding and reduced lung capacity. Obviously, the ability of the lung to repair itself diminishes over time and asbestiosis or other lung disease may develop.

To avoid exposure to asbestos, only work on houses built since 1985. Every (very few exceptions - includes hospitals, kindergartens etc) building built prior to that will have asbestos lagging around hot water pipes, AC sheeting under the eaves, AC sheeting in the laundry, behind the hot water service, around damp proof courses, the faux brick covering of houses, roofing tiles, BBQ gloves, simmer mats for gas stoves, fire guards, and the original filters in cigarettes.

Asbestos has excellent fire rating, even when used in low %, and the content of asbestos was actually quite low in AC sheeting. Vinyl tiles and sheeting containing asbestos are virtually indestructable and much is still in very good condition today. It is the 'vinyl' part of the product which becomes brittle over time, and the adhesive and bonding matrix which smells when heated or burnt. Asbestos itself cannot burn, it is a crystalline material, is inert and has no smell.

Breathing protection should be used when working with older paints, too, particularly those made up until the early 1970s, as lead oxide was used extensively in paint, and can become air borne when sanding back.

But don't wear your old felt hat when working, as that will have been shaped useing mercury vapour, hence the saying 'mad as a hatter'.

And don't wear your favourite old fashioned watch, the radioactive fluorescent dial may affect your white cell count.

When sawing, sanding etc timber, MDF or cement sheet products, installing insulation or working with any product which releases dust (and that means everything), you should have your respirator on.

If we really want to keep health and safety risks in perspective, did you wash your hands with soap and water the last time you visited the toilet, and did you wash your hands with soap and water before you last ate anything or prepared any food in the kitchen? Or after you last patted your dog (and when was the dog last wormed?). Your are more likely to die from Hepatitis than asbestiosis.

Dynamite, I respect your concerns today but would invite you to consider that protecting our health and safety is an ongoing vigilance, not just when pulling the lining off the walls in old houses.

I wouldn't have a problem with AC sheeting - I've been working on two houses with significant quantities of the stuff, but I wouldn't take my chances by climbing onto a roof.

Sleep tight!


PS no permit is required to remove small amounts of AC but disposal requirements are quite strict. No putting it out with the general garbage. The States workcover authorities and also the local munipalities have lots of information regarding removal.  

If you want to worry about OH&S, there was a report on testing a number of commonly touched surfaces, with the result being that shared keyboards had a higher bacteria count a toilet bowl.

Have a peek at your keyboard up close.....hmmmmm...tasty....there's stuff in there thats moving!!!!


PS...Hope your not someone who chews their nails or holds the hands to their mouth whilst reading forums like this!!!!..keyboarditis will get you!!  

Please also be aware that Masonite manufactured prior to 1983 also contained some asbestos and must be disposed of in the same manner as asbestos sheeting.

Also, the patterned sheeting around many baths (sometimes called 'tilux' is also asbestos sheeting.

I try not to worry and wear a mask to do renos on this sort of stuff but is scary to think myself and my husband have been exposed to a lot of it. We try to minimise the risk and never saw the stuff....you can buy special cutters to cut it with but it is everywhere.

However, it is generally safe if painted and left alone.


The trick is if you do have to cut or saw it, keep it wet. This stops the fibres from floating around.

Dynamite, if you know what fibro sheeting is - well thats pretty much asbestos sheeting. If its not hard and brittle its probably not asbestos and stop stressing - the world is full of nasties.  

Thanks Krsitine, I respect your post, I prefer straight shooting. What kind of respirator should I buy?

I was really worried, mainly because I have never seen this type of sheeting before. I do know what cement sheeting looks like, its a mid grey shade, is hard, and snaps cleanly in half if a brick is under it (havnt done that for 25 years).

So my question is, was asbestos used in wall linings like cane-ite and plasterboard?

And does anyone know what Cane-ite looks like when broken?  

Hi Dynamite,

You could always find an old builder (retired) or talk to an old hand at a building supply firm, most will be able to explain the different sheets.

From your description it is probably either Caneite, which is a soft sound deadening/ insulating sheet, usually white on one side and quite often still used in cheap notice boards. Usually about 12mm ( .5 inch) thick,no medical problems that I have heard of.

The other possibility is fibreous plaster, this used to be made with horsehair type fibres and plaster. Quite common before Gyprock was invented, if this was damp it would get mildew in it and change colour to a grey tone. When you broke a piece of this off you would find the type of fibres you are talking about so it could well be that.

I think that asbestos gets drier as it gets older, becoming brittle and would snap or powder when handled.

If you have to tear it out, I would wet it first to stop dust, wear a mask and wash your hands and clothes after handling.  

thanks macca, Im not removing it, so Ijust put masking tape across the length just in case it sheds any.

Im thinking now its unlikely to be asbestos, but as Kristine has pointed out, it pays to be safe than sorry.

I guess I just got complacent, as most things I do are dijointed and I dont have my safety gear in the house, which is now going to change.  

im w/ macca and brains sounds like the old style gyprock stuff w/ the horse hair reinforcing  

Originally posted by Kristine..
Did you know that MDF has been banned in most parts of America, as the glue gives off toxic fumes when hot (have you ever smelt that? It smells like a crematorium - scorching hooves & horns!!)
Click to expand...
seems to be another urban myth I'm afraid. Check this article or scores of others under google.


The glue/binding agent is formaldehyde which is not a 'proven' carcinogen.

Now CCA treated pine is a different story. From 2004 all residential applications in the US are banned.

That means, CCA treated pine decking, play equip, fencing, outdoor furniture etc etc will be no longer.

Interesting thing is after some early investigations the 'pressure treated timber association' or whoever the US industry body is for the product agreed to a voluntary ban on all residential use of the product to be in full effect from 2004. The only thing they are still allowed to use it for are power poles apparently.

Hmmm... nasty stuff methinks and our timber yards and hardware stores are still full of the stuff. I'm glad I have always had a preference for hardwood.


bump,,,,, just wanted to make people aware of the CCA thing.

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