WITH many properties changing hands in recent years the national Asbestos Education Committee has issued a warning to people who might risk
disturbing asbestos when renovating older homes.
With the annual death toll from asbestos-related diseases exceeding 4000 and predicted to rise, it’s vital that every Australian homeowner understands where asbestos might be lurking in their home and what to do to manage it safely.
What most don’t know is that asbestos could be anywhere in any home built before 1990 including brick,
fibro, weatherboard, clad homes, apartments or sheds because it was used in the manufacture of more than 3000 building and decorator products, not just fibro sheeting.
Asbestos could be lurking under floor coverings including carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, home extensions, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels.
The fear is that with the popularity of renovating continuing to soar, if property owners aren’t aware that potentially deadly asbestos lurks within one in three homes, and if asbestos is disturbed during renovation, demolition or maintenance, homeowners could be risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
The first rule is, if you think a product may contain asbestos, treat it as if it is asbestos and take all the necessary precautions starting with having the property inspected by an occupational hygienist or a licenced asbestos assessor.
Remember, a regular building inspection does not test for asbestos!
And if asbestos is confirmed, property owners should only use licenced asbestos removalists to ensure they protect themselves and their families.
To learn more visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au to learn what to look for and what to do to ensure asbestos is managed safely in line with government regulations.