What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral consisting of numerous small fibres, which are able to be released into the atmosphere. The innate qualities that asbestos possesses, including being non-combustible, strong and affordable, made it a very popular building material.
Asbestos was widely used in over 3,000 products from building materials to protective clothing. These are commonly referred to as ACM (asbestos containing materials) and are currently reaching the end of their serviceable life.
Due to the common use of asbestos in the past, houses built before 1 January 2000 have a strong chance of containing some ACM. Once the health risks were identified, asbestos use in New Zealand slowly began to fade out. However, importing products of asbestos into the country was only banned in 2016.