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If you are starting renovations or repairs on your home or property you need to think about asbestos and take appropriate measures to avoid putting your own health and the health of others at risk.


Before drilling, sanding, sawing or knocking down walls or buildings, including garden sheds or carports, always assess your work environment for asbestos.

Identifying asbestos

Many New Zealand buildings or homes built before before 1 January 2000 are likely to contain some type of asbestos materials. 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. Buildings built after this are less likely to contain asbestos containing materials, but it is still possible for some to contain asbestos products.

It's not always possible to tell if a product contains asbestos just by looking at it. Asbestos can often be mixed with other materials or hidden behind walls or panelling. The only way to be certain is to talk to an asbestos professional or have it tested by an accredited laboratory.  

We recommend getting to know what types of building products could potentially contain asbestos and where these are located around the home. Refer to our image gallery and list of locations, or see WorkSafeNZ's fact sheet (below).

Asbestos Residential House HR.JPG

Asbestos left undisturbed, in good condition or sealed is relatively safe – but if you intend to work with it, it can quickly become harmful and needs specialist attention.

Always remember If asbestos is present


NEVER cut it, drill it, sand it, scrape it,

scrub it, waterblast it, or demolish it,

without first getting proper advice and take appropriate precautions. And importantly, NEVER dump it.

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