Each week 13 Australians die of asbestos-related diseases, 12 from malignant mesothelioma. Another 13 are diagnosed with this hideous disease. Tragically, this number is predicted to rise in coming years due to homeowners, renovators and tradies disturbing asbestos and releasing fibres that can be inhaled by adults and kids during home renovations.
Although there’s no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres, what we do know is that the greater the exposure, the greater the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. Understanding the dangers of asbestos and knowing how to manage it safely can help save lives.
FACTS ABOUT ASBESTOS
- Every home built or renovated before 1987, most likely contains asbestos.
- 1 in 3 homes in Australia contain asbestos including brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes.
- If asbestos is undisturbed, sealed and well maintained it’s unlikely to pose a health risk.
- Many Australians may unknowingly be putting their health and the health of their children and neighbours at risk because they don’t know the dangers of asbestos or know where it might be found in and around homes.
- During renovations or the demolition of homes containing asbestos, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and if inhaled can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- Not only homes constructed of fibro contain asbestos. Asbestos may be found in every room in the home. It may be behind wall and floor tiles, in walls, ceilings, under floor coverings including lino and carpet and around hot water systems.
Together we can encourage renovators and tradies to get to kNOw Asbestos this NOvember by visiting asbestosawareness.com.au where they’ll find free, user-friendly, life-saving information including the Asbestos in Your Home – The Ultimate Renovators Guide video and the 20 Point Safety Check. They can search Australia’s only Asbestos Product Database, download Fact Sheets and the world first, user-friendly Asbestos Awareness Healthy House Checklist – A Homeowner’s Guide to Identifying Asbestos-Containing Materials. The Checklist is a step-by-step guide that helps homeowners conduct a fast and easy visual inspection of their home – we are launching an ap version in November as part of the campaign. Plus, 28 trade-specific checklists designed to assist tradies in their day-to-day work.