Friable: asbestos that’s in a powder form or able to be crumbled, pulverised, or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry. While all asbestos has the potential to become airborne, friable is more likely to become airborne.
Non-friable: asbestos that’s not in a powder or cannot be crumbled, pulverised, or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry. It is usually in a bonded form, such as asbestos cement sheet in good condition.
By law in New Zealand if you are removing more that 10m2 of non-friable or any amount of friable asbestos containing material you must employ a contractor who is suitably qualified and experienced to do the job you require.
Removal work is broken into Class A and Class B work. Much like your drivers licence, the class dictates what work the removalist can do:
- A Class A licenced removalist can do friable and non-friable removal
- A Class B licenced removalist can only remove non-friable asbestos