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How can you tell if a material contains asbestos?

The reality is you can't always tell just by looking. Asbestos can often be mixed with other materials or hidden behind walls or panelling. To determine whether asbestos is present or not requires testing by an accredited laboratory.  


For information on how to obtain a safe sample it is recommended that you take an asbestos awareness course or talk to the NZDAA, a trained asbestos professional or an approved laboratory for advice beforehand.

If you are unsure whether a material contains asbestos or not, treat it as if it is asbestos, and take appropriate precautions. Talk to a professional on the best approach for getting it tested.


All friable asbestos must be removed by a licensed Class A asbestos removalist.

Accidentally uncovered or damaged materials that contain asbestos?​
  • Stop the work immediately

  • Keep people away

  • minimise the spread of contamination to other areas

  • Get advice on what to do next

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