This safety alert provides advice on vehicles that contain asbestos gaskets
Recently, following the testing of spare parts, new vehicles imported from China were found to have asbestos gaskets. Asbestos has been a prohibited product in Australia since December 2003 but, in many countries, such as China, it is still used in manufactured products.
Australian Customs is working with importers and foreign manufacturers to ensure that products containing asbestos are not imported, however, despite rigorous testing and strict guidelines both here and in the source country, asbestos products continue to be imported.
As well as imported new vehicles many older vehicles manufactured before January 2004 contain asbestos in brake, clutch linings and gaskets.
These diagrams indicate where some asbestos gaskets are located. If you are replacing a gasket on a new, imported vehicle, contact the local dealership to find out whether the gasket contains asbestos and how to safely handle it if it does. If the vehicle was manufactured before January 2004, assume that the gaskets and brake and clutch linings do contain asbestos.
Exhaust manifold gasket
1 (gasket), 2 (exhaust manifold)
Muffler exhaust flange gasket
1 (gasket), 2 (exhaust manifold), 3 (muffler)
Handle asbestos-containing products according to the guidelines set out below:
- Appendix F – Safe work practice number 6 – Inspection of friction based material, in the Code of practice on how to manage and control asbestos in the workplace.
- Appendix D – Removal of gaskets, in the Code of practice on how to safely remove asbestos, available at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au.
Work health and safety laws apply to work involving asbestos. Phone SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 for more information.
Visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website, for information on product recalls.
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