Dealing with / identifying asbestos in lino and wallpaper

Is there any way to determine if the wallpaper and lino in a house I'm looking at contains asbestos? If it is asbestos, is there any way to deal with it? I assume the easiest option for the lino would be to put floating floors on top (a pity as the existing floor under the lino would already be timber). But what about the wallpaper? How can you spruce up the walls if the wallpaper contains asbestos?
I don't think wallpaper would ever contain asbestos.. since wallpaper is just paper stuck on a wall :p Similarly lino shouldn't contain any - but i could be wrong.. as some carpet underlay does contain the stuff.

Check out this thread if you want to know how to get it tested..
LINO and wallpaper CAN contain asbestos

Lino does contain asbestos depending on its age.

Most of it is in the backing if the backing is white in color. Asbestos was widely used until the early to mid '80's.

I think with wallpaper it was mainly used with vinyl wallpapers.

See these links

I'm pretty sure there are ways of testing for it. It may pay to contact an asbestos remover and ask some questions.

The only way to know if a material contains asbestos is to have a sample tested at a laboratory. Visit the NSW workcover website, it contains all the info you will need.


Bog Tone
Have a look at your states occ health and safety laws / regs and the National Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos (2005) (Asbestos Removal Code).

I was led to believe that if it was under 9m2 in total, you can remove yourself, provided you are kitted with appropriate PPE.

If you are removing wallpaper, I would assume that you would be wetting the wallpaper to get off wall. If wallpaper is saturated, any airborne asbestos fibres would fall out of suspension due to its dosing with water and would be pretty safe to handle. For added protection, use appropriate p2 / P3 particulate filters and read the above code for further information.

Otherwise, pay someone an arm and a leg to remove.