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  #2001240 23-Apr-2018 18:37
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I wonder how much of asbestos danger is scaremongering

At least accordingly to statistics, asbestos has been the single biggest cause of workplace related deaths in NZ in recent years. It does however have a lag period of potentially decades, so the exposure those deaths relate to will be some time ago.

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  #2001247 23-Apr-2018 19:12
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I pulled up our old vinyl which we were told had asbestos in it. It pulled up pretty easily. I used a Stanley knife cut it into squares pulled it up bagged it and dumped it.


As to the debate on asbestos and the effects on your health. My Dad lived to 87 and he'd worked in the building industry cutting and fitting fibrolite and the like.


I've been told the blue asbestos is what causes issues. The white asbestos is less harmless than coal dust, at least based on health issue of white asbestos miners and coal miners.


I've also been told the move on banning asbestos has been driven by commercial interests who have another competing product.


Personally I think this whole asbestos thing is an expensive over reaction. By all means take care with it, but it shouldn't be as difficult and expensive to deal with as it is.

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  #2001313 23-Apr-2018 21:52
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The white asbestos is less harmless than coal dust, at least based on health issue of white asbestos miners and coal miners.

I've also been told the move on banning asbestos has been driven by commercial interests who have another competing product.

Assuming you meant to say "harmful" the problem with that comparison is that coal miners get exposed to both asbestos and coal dust during mining.

The commercial dodgyness that I'm aware of was the industry attempts to continue using white asbestos after other types were banned. This head in the sand approach lead to Chinese manufacturers of rail equipment for NZ claiming to be it to be asbestos free because by their twisted logic chrysotile was not really asbestos.

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  #2001373 24-Apr-2018 08:34
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Repeated exposure seem to be the big risk. 


I knew a guy (in his 70's) who as a marine engineer used to chip asbestos off bearing housings and pipes on boats, then replace the bearing or pipe fitting and re-coat.  I got the impression from him, that they applied an asbestos paste over fittings and parts as a protective coating. 


He would have spent hours at a time in an enclosed space with asbestos fibre floating around.


And is he still with us, fit as a flea, hale and hearty?


I don't know, he was mid 70's when I last spoke to him, and was in perfect health then.  We were HS Managers within the same company.  But that was 15 years ago. 


TBH with the life he had led (if even half his sea-stories were to be believed), I was amazed he was still standing then.  The guy was a very colourful character.  A night out with him was something you never forgot even though you mostly didn't remember it ...


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  #2001421 24-Apr-2018 10:08
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I think new cases of mesothelioma in NZ is about 100 per year, there's a rule of thumb that there are two asbestos exposure related lung cancer cases per mesothelioma diagnosis, so as a very approximate figure, deaths are probably similar levels to the road toll - and that makes front page news.  So I wouldn't say that it's an overreaction - but OTOH in cases where it isn't from direct industrial exposure it's been from indirect industrial exposure, family members being exposed to asbestos dust in clothing etc. and only a few rare cases where how the person was exposed isn't known.  The cases found now could have been from exposure 50 years ago.


I removed some "probably" asbestos containing lino from our bathroom floor many years ago, it was a horrible job because it was glued down with a bituminous adhesive which I assumed could have also contained asbestos, but at least that wasn't friable.  I scraped it off bit by bit with a blade.


I've had no real concern DIY removing fibrolite etc - there were sheets of it on our garage walls, I disconnected power so I could wet the wall safely as I worked, tried to remove sheets intact (not always easy or possible) wore disposable paper overalls, mask, plastic wrapped and palletized the stuff, put the masks and overalls etc in the wrap, had a long thorough shower, called the council to arrange a dumping time, did the paperwork, dumped the stuff (not very expensive).  I never got it tested to be sure that it was asbestos, but as it was originally installed in 1963, then it was pointless to spend $ testing it as it was almost a 100% sure thing and treated as such.


I think the OP possibly needs to get more samples tested in case that was cross contamination from something else.  That grey backing looks like thin bison board or similar, perhaps if the test found asbestos it was from something else.  If that is asbestos based, then it looks friable and nasty.  I don't know if an early version of bison board used asbestos - perhaps it did.



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  #2001431 24-Apr-2018 10:33
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Have just pulled the sample out, you were correct in thinking the bottom grey layer tile contains the asbestos.


I emailed the laboratory, they tell me that the bottom grey layer contains the asbestos.



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  #2001453 24-Apr-2018 10:54
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That's a bit of a nuisance then.  The photos you posted, the "kitchen" might be easy enough to deal with - it looks as if it'll come off intact even if you need to carefully cut into pieces to be able to handle it.  The "laundry" looks nasty though - glued down and friable with glue still holding it in patches.


I'd probably still DIY - but understand your concern.  Not sure if anybody has already posted this link:



Removal of other asbestos-containing material


  • Before you begin any work with asbestos, follow the checklist on checklist for preparing yourself and the surrounding work area.
  • Asbestos-backed floor tiles or vinyl sheeting should only be removed with unpowered hand tools so dust is not created.
  • If the asbestos is covered by an outer layer you will need to cut through this layer to allow total wetting. Use water to wet the compound.
  • If sanding the surface for removal, or preparing the surface for replacement, keep the surface wet at all times to reduce the release of dust.
  • Clean the area and dispose of waste as in How to clean-up and dispose of asbestos waste.


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  #2001475 24-Apr-2018 11:15
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Thanks, yup I've read all that.


We are saving the laundry for another day.


I think in the laundry I'm learning towards not having the rimu sanded down and polished for the exact reasons you described.


We will either put lino/vinyl on top of the existing lino or have the asbestos removed and then the rimu covered with another flooring tile / vinyl etc.

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  #2001476 24-Apr-2018 11:16
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I'm not sure if they will cut the asbestos or just roll it up

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  #2002533 25-Apr-2018 21:22
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Bung: I believe that in Wellington it goes to a specific area in the Council owned landfill rather than mixed with general waste or other landfills run by private operators that I think deal in "clean" fill only.

In 2017 the WCC made an extra $3M from demo waste diverted to them.




Years ago all the council tip did was dig a hole, put your bagged-up crap in it, put some dirt over the top. Hole was no deeper than 3 feet.




I could go outside and stare at 60 metres of super six panels right now... not to mention my carport ceiling.




Keep it wet, bag it up, take it to council tip.

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