Asbestos cement-based materials that were once commonly used as internal walls and ceiling linings contain around 15% asbestos fibres by weight. If possible, this kind of asbestos cement product should be removed unbroken. If you discover that such material has sustained damage while still in place, it can be reinforced by using duct tape.
Low density asbestos fibre board (LDB) was commonly used in buildings as internal walls and ceiling linings until the 1980’s. Analysis of LDB samples has shown it contains up to 70 per cent asbestos fibres which are not bound in a cement matrix, as they are with asbestos cement sheeting. LDB is considerably softer and will start to disintegrate easily if disturbed.
It is hard to tell the difference between LDB and any other flat profile construction sheeting when it’s painted, decorated and/or in good condition. Asbestos registers often fail to distinguish the two. Furthermore, during LDB removal jobs, airborne fibre levels have been recorded that are higher than the Occupational Exposure Standard of 0.1 fibres/ml.
In 2009 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland released an information paper on LDB stating: “Due to the high percentage of asbestos fibres present in low density asbestos fibre board and the soft nature of the product, low density asbestos fibre board is regarded as a friable asbestos containing material. Friable asbestos containing material must only be removed by an ‘A’ class certificate holder.”