Recent reports indicate that carpet underlays may be contaminated with asbestos. The source of the asbestos carpet underlay is from recycling of hessian bags used to transport material from Wittenoom to Perth in the 1960s and 70s.

When is it dangerous?

Asbestos underlay is considered dangerous only when disturbed. So walking on a carpet with hessian asbestos carpet underlay is reasonably safe.

So what should I do if I suspect asbestos carpet underlay is present in my property?

One needs to be careful at the time of replacing the old carpet. It is important to use the services of professionals to pull up the potential asbestos underlay.

Step 1: 

Enquire about sampling the potential asbestos carpet underlay by a professional who would use control measures to minimise potential asbestos contamination

Step 2: 

Should you find that you indeed have an asbestos carpet underlay, employ contractors with friable asbestos removal licence to remove and dispose of the asbestos carpet underlay

Step 3: 

Conduct asbestos atmospheric testing to ensure that levels of airborne asbestos fibres fall within the safety zone during and after asbestos carpet underlay removal

Similar hessian material found in asbestos carpet underlay can also be found in the hessian matrix within linoleum/vinyl flooring, thermoplastic tiles and even the bitumen glue used to bond the tiles to the floor.

Asbestos Check provides commercial and domestic clients with extensive asbestos inspection services including asbestos identification, testing, inspection and management.