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mgp roofing 01-18-2012 02:29 AM

Identifying asbestos products
5 Attachment(s)
I have seen a few threads asking if something contains asbestos, so I thought it would be helpful to have a collection of pics of materials that do contain asbestos. I welcome contributions from anyone who can add more pics or useful information. I will add more as I see other materials during my travels.

Here's 3 varieties of siding and a corrugated roof.

rusty baker 01-18-2012 08:06 AM

Have these been tested to be certain that they contain asbestos?

cibula11 01-18-2012 06:31 PM

pictures won't help anyone know if asbestos is present....only way is to get it tested. You can narrow it down by knowing specific products and years they were installed, but that's about it.

Gary in WA 01-18-2012 07:01 PM


mgp roofing 01-19-2012 12:25 AM


Originally Posted by rusty baker (Post 826601)
Have these been tested to be certain that they contain asbestos?

Yes they have. I know most of the products on sight, but a lot of diyers don't, at least in my experience here. One thread questioned if asbestos was in a siding that was in fact plywood. Giving someone a few pics of confirmed examples will help people determine if something is likely/not likely to contain asbestos. Names of products and dates of manufacture will also help, I have some info on local NZ made products that I will post when I find it.

mgp roofing 01-19-2012 01:38 AM

Some of the trade names used here: Fibrolite, Hardiflex, Super Six, Coverline, Highline, Durock, Poilite, and Hardiplank. We also have Whispar ( a textured ceiling material), asbestos backed vinyl flooring, as well as pipe lagging and fireproofing materials. I once unerthed the remains of a vintage car muffler that was filled with asbestos while using a stump grinder in a private garden!!! In my first post, the blue house has Durock walls, the brown one is Hardiplank in the woodgrain variety, there is also a smooth version, and the shed is Fibrolite flat sheets. The roof is a small profile corrugate, I am not sure of the name though.

This info from the Net will be helpful, too:
Asbestos Use in New Zealand
Until just before the Second World War asbestos really only found its way into New Zealand in the form of manufactured items. Since that time, the only asbestos containing products that have been manufactured in any quantity in this country were asbestos cement building material, such as roofing and wall claddings, pipes and other molded products.
There have been 2 plants producing asbestos cement products. The first was established in 1938 at Penrose in Auckland, by the Australian Company James Hardie Ltd. A second factory, operated by the local company Fletcher’s was established in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton in 1943. Depending on the item being manufactured, they were made of a mixture of Portland cement, sand and usually between 5 and 15 percent of either chrysotile Amosite or crocidolite --- the asbestos acting as reinforcing because of it s fibrous nature and its high tensile strength. The types of asbestos used carried. The bulk was the white variety, chrysotile, which was cheaper and more easily worked. Because the “best” blue crocidolite from South Africa was more expensive it tended to be used in only products requiring greater heat tolerance or strength (such as in pipes expected to contain higher pressures or temperatures). A lesser quality of crocidolite from the Wittenoom mine in Western Australia was also used to some extent. Amosite, or brown asbestos was imported from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
The Auckland plant produced asbestos cement products until 1987 although from 1983 asbestos had been phased out of sheet products and included only in pipes. At peak production in the 1970’s the Penrose plant employed up to 600 employees at any one time.
The Christchurch plant, called Dunrock Industries, operated until 1974. Estimates of the numbers employed over the life of the factory vary between 900 and 2000 – and are confused by the fact that large numbers of casual workers were employed.
Another major use of asbestos was as the raw material for insulation and acoustic products. This saw the various types of asbestos mixed with a binder and spayed around boilers, pipes, ducts and other places where insulation against heat and noise was needed. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s thousands of tonnes of asbestos were applied in this way, most notably in the power stations built in the period, but also in railway workshops, shipbuilding and maintenance and other large scale industrial applications. Sprayed asbestos was also extensively used as a fire retardant for protecting structural steelwork. Usually the insulation was applied by contractors who mixed asbestos from the bags or sacks it had been imported in, before spraying the mixture on to chicken wire reinforcing.
Other work places where asbestos was used included railway workshops, boiler rooms, and in fact most of the countries major industrial complexes where insulation against heat was required. Some of the industrial applications were less obvious. For example, asbestos was commonly used in the brewing industry to filter beer from the 1920’s to the early 1970’s, and it was dropped into wine to act as finings and clarify the finished product. Another unusual use for blue asbestos was as a filtering component in gas masks of British Manufacture that were standard issue for troops and others from the First World War until after the Second World War. An inner core of asbestos was surrounded by woolen wadding, and the item was standard issue to all New Zealand Troops in danger of gas attack.
Before the Second World War, asbestos was not imported in its raw state in sufficient quantity to appear in the import statistics. With the beginning of local manufacturing and an increase in post war construction, more than 2000 tonnes were being imported annually by the late 1940’s. This continued though out the 1950’s with peaks of up to 5000 tonnes in some years. Usage increased dramatically during the 1960’s and until well into the 1970’s with the 5000 tonnes being a minimum amount being imported during those years, and the average being closer to 8000 tonnes. Imported asbestos peaked in 1975 at 12,500 tonnes though as recently as 1983, 3000 tonnes were imported.
Through out the 40 years asbestos was imported in large quantities, about two thirds of the amount imported was chrysotile from Canada, with the balance being made up of different types from Australia, South Africa or, to a lesser extent, the United States.
Asbestos was only ever mined in small quantities in New Zealand, as chrysotile from a single mine near Takaka from the early 1950’s until early 1960’s. It was of low quality and had to be mixed with imported material. In the late 1960’s a sizable deposit was found near Dusky Sound, but for various reasons these were never exploited. Since 1984 the importing of Blue and Brown asbestos has been banned (in its raw state?).

mgp roofing 01-26-2012 12:38 AM

A useful website.
6 Attachment(s)
A very useful Australian site:
We have it just as bad here, every pre-1983 house has it somewhere, its also in some homes built as late as 1989! Even today, some of the cheap imported fibre cement products have tested positive, according to some reports I have seen in the papers over recent years.
The house I am living in now has asbestos in the soffits, baseboards, garage walls inside and out, ceiling in the garage, under the brick fireplace hearth, and in the kitchen/laundry and bathroom vinyl. And I almost forgot to mention the front deck!
Here's some pics. Hardiflex soffits, ceiling and base sheets, Coverline on the front of the garage, Hardiplank on the back of the garage, thick Fibrolite on the deck. The vinyl has an asbestos cardboard backing. (the house walls are Weatherside, which is a wood fibre product that didn't stay on the market long because of product failures) in the pic of the wall by the deck its to the left of the soakers, Hardiplank on the right.
The house I have recently moved & begun renovating only has it in the switchboard and a small rectangle that blocked off a gable vent, now replaced with ply since it got removed when I dismantled the roof for the shift.

mgp roofing 01-26-2012 12:53 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by mgp roofing (Post 827524)
Yes they have. I know most of the products on sight, but a lot of diyers don't, at least in my experience here. One thread questioned if asbestos was in a siding that was in fact plywood. Giving someone a few pics of confirmed examples will help people determine if something is likely/not likely to contain asbestos. Names of products and dates of manufacture will also help, I have some info on local NZ made products that I will post when I find it.

I started this thread because I am sick if this sort of thing on jobsites ( see pic) The carpenters who did this used no protective gear at all; I bet theres still a lot of contamination around the property now! They couldn't give a s***!:furious: This is typical of carpenters here, I have been in the roofing trade for 7yrs now, in that time I have only been on 1 job (where I was not contracted to strip a asbestos roof) where it has been done properly - and that was a bit of gable end that was in my way when roofing a addition, it was quicker for me to do it than wait for the builder & I had the suit/mask in the truck.

mudassar1 03-15-2014 12:30 AM

Most submarines of about world war two vintage had the insides completely coated with asbestos identifying. It's not a dangerous as the Media make it out to be.
It's when its in dust form that it's most hazardous.

gmaint 03-15-2014 08:16 AM

Pre 1978 stateside,

Popcorn ceiling texture is just about a guarantee of asbestos

Maintenance 6 03-20-2014 03:33 PM

1978 is not a good date. In fact no date in the U.S. is foolproof. Most companies voluntarily removed asbestos from their products by 1982, but not all. Some products still contain asbestos. It is still permitted in roofing materials and flooring, brake and clutch facings and high temperature insulation provided that it is in a non-friable state.

curtd 03-31-2014 03:36 AM

Thanks for this thread, but i still wouldn't know upon sight what products contain asbestos. For example, someone i know did not remove the siding from house bc he said it contained asbestos. How did he know that FOR SURE. What's a simple test in determining ?

gmaint 03-31-2014 07:19 AM


No simple test, you have to have it tested.

Maintenance 6 03-31-2014 02:38 PM

There is no hard and fast rule for determining what materials contain asbestos. The ONLY foolproof way is to send a sample to a lab with the proper test equipment. There are some guidelines for Presumed Asbestos Containing Materials (often noted as PACM in some documents). This includes items like 9"x9" Floor tiles, Cast siding and shingles, troweled in place pipe insulation, corrugated pipe wrapping, Breeching and boiler insulation, etc. This means that when you encouter these materials, you just assume they contain asbestos until you prove otherwise. I have seen 9x9 floor tiles that were asbestos free and I have seen 12x12 tiles that were hot, so you can never be absolutely sure without testing. The U.S. EPA attempted to ban asbestos from products in about 1978, but the courts threw out the ban, claiming that the EPA had no jurisdiction to make such a mandate. Most companies in the U.S. voluntarily removed asbestos from building products by 1982, but until recently there was never a "ban" and some products still contain asbestos. We've imported thousands of tons of raw asbestos in the past decade, not to mention what comes in to the country in finished goods. Legally, asbestos can still be incorporated in flooring, roofing, clutch and brake linings and other non-friable applications.

mgp roofing 04-04-2014 04:46 AM

Another recent find...asbestos in railway locomotive cabs...that are less than four years old...and Made In China:
It has also been found in Chinese-made cars.

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