Asbestos products – fibro and asbestos cement
Asbestos cement buildings products, commonly referred to as fibro, were widely used throughout Western Australia after World War II. Two out of every three houses constructed in Australia in the period 1945 to 1983 contained asbestos cement sheets. One of the main reasons for this is that it was a cheap medium to use. Up until 1983 asbestos cement sheets contained up to 15% asbestos.
Asbestos cements sheets were used as external linings on houses, cottages, garages and car ports, as internal linings, particularly in wet areas such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchens, as eaves or soffits, as roofs, gable ends and fences, as flooring in bathrooms or wet areas and on porches and verandahs.
In Western Australia, James Hardie and Coy Pty Limited was the sole manufacturer of asbestos cement sheets.
Popular asbestos cement sheets
Popular asbestos cement sheets included Fibrolite, Hardiflex flat sheets, Super Six corrugated sheets, Thick compressed sheets, Tilux (patterned sheets), Versilux, Hardiplank, Shadowline, Coverline and Log Cabin.
Asbestos cement sheets in situ and in good repair do not constitute a danger to health, however, dust and fibre released from asbestos cement sheets during cutting, sawing drilling, sanding, rasping or otherwise handling the sheets can be dangerous to health and cause asbestos diseases including asbestosis and mesothelioma.