The Three Common Types of Asbestos in Australia

At some point between the 1940s and 1990s, Australia contributed to the largest asbestos consumption in the world per capita before the mineral was banned entirely in 2003 due to health risks.

If your property was built prior to the ban, you are at risk of asbestos exposure. Old buildings may still have asbestos-containing materials (ACMS), prompting property owners to hire asbestos services for regular audits and keep updated registers.

If you plan to conduct an asbestos survey, there are three main types you might discover:


Chrysolite is the most common type of asbestos, appearing as white fibres with curled ends. They are obtained from serpentine rocks.

Due to its inherent flexibility, chrysolite was widely used in residential and industrial settings. The fibres can be easily woven or spun into other fabrics and materials, making them heat resistant and an effective electrical, acoustic, and thermal insulator.

Where is Chrysolite Found?

  • Cement products
  • Adhesives
  • Brake pads
  • Shingles
  • Gaskets
  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Roofing
  • Vinyl Tiles
  • Fireproofing
  1. Amosite

Also known as brown asbestos, the amosite was Australia’s second most used type of asbestos. Amosite was mined in South Africa as Grunerite, its natural form.

Unlike chrysolite, amosite is characterised by its sharp, brittle, and needle-like fibres with a brownish-grey hue. Amosite was favoured well for its durability, powerful insulation, and heat resistance.

Amosite is amongthemost dangerous forms of asbestos. When the needle-like fibres are inhaled, they could get lodged in the lungs.

Where is Amosite Found?

  • Insulations
  • Fire Protection
  • Cement Sheets
  • Gaskets
  • Vinyl Tiles
  • Roofing Material
  1. Crocidolite

Crocidolite is called blue asbestos due to its distinctiveblue colour in natural and processed forms. It was mined throughout Australia and commonly occurred as soft, friable fibres. This type of asbestos is known for its acid and high-temperature resistance.

This type of asbestos is categorised under the amphibole class, which is characterised by straight, needle-like fibres. Because this is easily inhaled, crocidolite is recognised as the most hazardous, causing more deaths than any other type.

Crocidolite was the first asbestos type to be withdrawn, so it was used less than amosite and chrysolite.

Where is Crocidolite Found?

  • Acid storage battery casings
  • Cement sheets
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Fireproofing
  • Insulation

Worried About Asbestos in Your Property?

We understand how distressing it can be when asbestos-containing materials are in your building, which is why we are here to help.

For professional asbestos services, please contact Global Asbestos Audits. With 60 years of combined experience in the field, we can provide detailed asbestos registers and efficient management solutions to ensure safety and legal compliance.

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