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Friable/Non-Friable Asbestos

'Friable' is asbestos containing materials that can be easily reduced to powder by hand, when dry.  These materials are more likely to release asbestos into the air when disturbed and pose a greater risk to health.  Some examples include:

                                                                                        sprayed asbestos fire retardants

                                                                                  thermal lagging, such as pipe insulation

                                                                                                      low density boards

                                                                                              sheet vinyl underlay or backing

'Non-Friable', or bonded asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material.  These materials are unlikely to release asbestos fiber into the air if they are left undisturbed and pose a lower risk to health.  Some examples include:

                                                                                                 asbestos cement products

                                       (flat and corrugated sheeting used in walls, ceilings,  and roofs, molded items such as down pipes)

                                                             vinyl floor tiles (however removal of the glue can be classified as friable)

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