Locations of asbestos

Asbestos fibres were widely used in the manufacture of a variety building products. Buildings constructed before 2004 may contain asbestos products, with kitchens and bathrooms the most common areas where asbestos containing materials (ACM) were used.

ACM was used internally and externally to construct buildings. The following list is an example of some of the locations asbestos is found.


  • Walls and ceilings
  • Vinyl, carpet and tile underlay
  • Lining behind wall tiles
  • Splashbacks in wet areas
  • Silicon aluminium window seals
  • Packing under beams
  • Textured paint


  • Roofing and gutters
  • Imitation brick cladding
  • Electrical meter backing boards
  • Gables and eaves
  • Downpipes
  • Fencing
  • Telecommunication pits
  • Expansion joints
  • Putty in wooden window frames

Industrial use of asbestos

The fire resistance and insulation properties of asbestos meant it was widely used in industrial equipment. Asbestos can be found in the following older mechanical equipment.

  • Boilers and (used in insulation)
  • Turbines (used in insulation)
  • Generators (used in fire protection)
  • Pumps (used in gaskets and packing)
  • Furnaces (used in lining, gaskets and insulation)

Identifying asbestos

With the exception of certain products which were stamped with manufacturer’s information, it is very difficult to visually determine if a product contains asbestos.

The only way to be certain that something contains asbestos is to have a sample tested in a laboratory.

If you suspect something contains asbestos, treat it as asbestos until tests confirm otherwise.

It is strongly recommended that a competent person collects the samples for testing and all testing is done by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory.

A competent person in the identification of asbestos and ACM include:

  • occupational hygienists who have experience with asbestos and ACM
  • licensed asbestos assessors
  • asbestos removal supervisors
  • individuals who have a statement of attainment in the Vocational Education and Training course for asbestos assessors
  • a person working for an organisation accredited by the NATA to survey asbestos.

A list of asbestos assessors and businesses licensed to remove asbestos are available on the NT WorkSafe website.