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Asbestos was widely used in building materials because of its resistance to fire, heat, chemicals, noise, and the strength it added to otherwise brittle materials like cement.

It can therefore be in places you might not expect, so you might accidentally come into contact with it.

Refer to the WorkSafeNZ fact sheets (as shown below) for identifying asbestos in homes and buildings or review examples in our images gallery.

These are some of the common places around New Zealand homes where you might find asbestos but there could be others:


  • asbestos cement products (pipes, flues, roofs etc)

  • wall cladding (fibrolite)

  • lagging (on pipes and boilers etc)

  • water tanks

  • asbestos insulating board

  • sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams / columns

  • textured decorative coatings, flat and stippled plaster

  • vinyl flooring and backing

  • textiles and composites

  • gaskets and ropes (such as on wood burners)

  • lathe and plaster

  • mastics and sealants

  • damp proof courses (malthoid

This list is not exhaustive and asbestos products have also been found in brick and tile and tilt slab buildings.


Asbestos is still widely used in building products in some countries. Despite imports being prohibited in New Zealand, it is possible for some products to contain asbestos. We recommend check where the products have come from and what they are made from. Ask for a NZ Certification on any products you are using. ​

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