If you want an asbestos free house you will need to look at houses built after 1992. With 80% of houses built in Adelaide having asbestos containing products in them, only the more recent homes constructed can be viewed as asbestos free.

Asbestos, like cigarettes was the subject of much public media scrutiny for a long time before it was recognized as the dangerous product it is and action was taken take it off the market. Like cigarettes the manufacturers claimed no knowledge that their product was dangerous to human health.

It was first used in houses in Australia as early as the 1920’s. It was used in building materials extensively from the 40’s through to the 70’s, until it was started to be phased out during the 80’s.

In the case of asbestos cement products the major supplier in Australia, James Hardie, were forced to stop manufacture of any product containing asbestos. The authorities at the time however were conscious of the impact on businesses and the building industry and allowed us to use up excess stocks. sadly other manufacturers of asbestos containing products were allowed to continue making their asbestos containing  products for a bit longer.

Some experts believe that some form of asbestos can be seen in houses built as late as the early 2000’s but I personally have nit witnessed this. I have seen a number of hosues with asbestos cement or vinyl asbestos products built up to 1991.