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  • Handling asbestos can be a serious health risk.
  • Strict laws apply to how you handle and dispose of asbestos.
  • Many houses built before 1990 contain asbestos cement materials.
  • You can report mishandling or damaged asbestos to Council.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in rock formations. Asbestos fibres are strong, heat-resistant and have insulating properties.

Asbestos products are now banned, but were commonly used in residential buildings until the late 1980s - especially in eaves, wall cladding, wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries, and fences.

Why you need to handle asbestos carefully

Asbestos can be a serious health risk when the fibres are breathed into a person's lungs. It can cause a range of diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

Special precautions should be taken by anyone who needs to disturb asbestos. Laws apply to how you handle and dispose of asbestos. It is highly recommended that you use a WorkSafe licensed asbestos removalist to handle, transport and dispose of asbestos.

Not all transfer stations and landfills accept asbestos and it must be disposed of at a licensed disposal point. See the EPA website for information on how to remove and dispose of asbestos from your home.

Report asbestos handling or damage

Private land (not part of a work or building site)

If you believe asbestos is not being handled correctly or is damaged on a neighbouring property (not part of a work or building site), we recommend you discuss the matter with the property owner and refer them to this page for information about the dangers of handling asbestos.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.

If you are unable to resolve the matter, you can report asbestos online or, to report a hazard 24 hours, call (03) 9278 4444 for immediate attention.

Report asbestos online

Work or building site

If you believe asbestos is not being handled correctly or is damaged on a work or building site, contact WorkSafe Victoria.

Council land

If you see damaged asbestos on Council land, contact us on (03) 9278 4710.

More information about asbestos

Asbestos in Victoria: advice from key state government agencies to help homeowners, tenants, employers and workers understand the risks, comply with legislation, and access resources for managing and removing asbestos.

Asbestos: A guide for householders and the general public: produced by the Environmental Health Standing Committee and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

We support the Asbestos Awareness Campaign, which aims to alert Australians to the dangers of working with asbestos during home renovations and maintenance by educating them about where asbestos might be found in and around homes.