It’s easy to forget that asbestos is still present in millions of Australian homes, but it’s a fact that if a house was built or renovated before 1990, there’s a good chance it has some asbestos.
Asbestos can be easily disturbed when doing renovations, home improvements and maintenance.
National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020, Monday, 23 November to Sunday, 29 November, reminds Australians to be asbestos aware before they start any work around the home.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and inhaling asbestos fibres can cause a number of life-threatening diseases including pleural disease, asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Asbestos-related diseases cause approximately 4,000 deaths a year.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians have increased their love of DIY and are using the extra time at home to do some home improvements and maintenance.
But what they may not know is that this work could be putting their health or someone else’s health at risk. Asbestos materials are still commonly found in corrugated roof sheeting, bathrooms, laundries, and kitchens as well as behind tiles and under flooring.
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Patrick Conolly wants Hawkesbury community members to make sure they do an asbestos check before they start any home improvements.
“Research shows that 1in 5 DlYers have encountered asbestos, but only half sought any kind of professional help to deal with it,” Mayor Conolly said.
“Additionally, a third admitted to disposing of the asbestos improperly.
“Just like plumbing and electrical work, asbestos removal, or work around the home that might uncover asbestos, is best left to the experts,” he said.
“This Asbestos Awareness Week, we are calling on Hawkesbury residents to know the health risk, to be aware of where asbestos might be found before starting work, and to call a professional for help,” the Mayor said.
The Australian Government’s Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency oversees national actions to improve asbestos awareness and the effective and safe management, removal and disposal of asbestos.