Both friable and non-friable asbestos was used in a wide range of building products before the nationwide ban came into force on 31 December 2003. These products still exist in buildings constructed before the ban.
Non-friable asbestos is made from a bonding compound, such as cement, mixed with a small proportion of asbestos fibres.
Non-friable asbestos products are solid and rigid, and cannot be crumbled or reduced to a powder by hand pressure.
In the Northern Territory, many buildings were constructed using non-friable asbestos materials, including the following:
Friable asbestos is made from a high proportion of asbestos fibres loosely held together. It crumbles under hand pressure so it is very easy for asbestos fibres to become airborne.
Common friable asbestos products used to construct buildings in the past were: