Background of Asbestos

Due to the inexpensive nature and durability, along with the insulating and fire-resistant properties, asbestos has historically been commonly used in building materials throughout New Zealand.

Common areas where Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) may be found:

  • Roofing materials.
  • Cladding.
  • Flooring.
  • Soffits and pipes.
  • Insulating materials and decorative coatings. Click here for further information.

However, since it became associated with health implications, the importation of raw asbestos was banned in 1984. The production of building materials containing asbestos continued until 1987 and we have only fairly recently (2016) seen a complete ban on all asbestos-containing products into the country.

It is important that before embarking on any type of land development project that the site be deemed safe and fit for use. This includes carrying out any required soil contamination tests which could include asbestos in soils.

How does Asbestos get into Soil?

Soil can become contaminated with asbestos in a number of ways including:

  • Inappropriate demolition of buildings.
  • Damage to underground services which contain asbestos.
  • Uncontrolled dumping of asbestos waste or demolition materials containing asbestos.
  • The use of asbestos waste products as drainage and roading materials on farm land.

Buildings containing asbestos products in a damaged or deteriorated condition also have the potential to release fibres and to contaminate the surrounding soils.

Regulations Today

The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 (the Asbestos Regulations) specifies requirements in relation to the identification and management of asbestos.

Any site containing, or is suspected to contain asbestos contaminated soil, is covered by the National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (NESCS) and the requirements of the New Zealand Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Asbestos in Soil (BRANZ, 2017).

Our contaminated land specialists investigate the potential for asbestos ground contamination and provide supporting information to allow for any remediation or management necessary. Speak to us today to find out more.

We also have one of the largest teams of Asbestos Surveyors
and Assessors of its kind in Auckland.