With Australia having one of the highest incidences of asbestos related cancers in the world, and with confirmed cases of asbestos related cancers continuing to increase as a result of home maintenance and renovation, exposure to asbestos fibres is considered a major threat to the health of Australians.
Having been ranked among the top consumers of asbestos cement products per capita in the world, almost every home built or renovated before the mid 1980s is likely to contain asbestos in one form or another.
In the past, those affected by asbestos related diseases were exposed to raw fibres in the mining and manufacturing process (first wave) followed by workers who used asbestos products in the workplace (second wave). The third wave of asbestos-related diseases predominantly affects people exposed to fibres during home renovations and maintenance specifically handymen and DIYers as well as family members present at the time.
If left undisturbed asbestos generally does not pose a health risk however, with DIY renovations on the increase, if you are considering doing renovations or home maintenance, you must visit asbestosawareness.com.au to learn where asbestos can be found in the home and how best to manage it.
Most people can't tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them. Asbestos can be under floor coverings such as carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, outdoor toilets and backyard sheds - it could be anywhere.
Before commencing any home maintenance or renovation work, homeowners and renovators, particularly young couples and first home buyers excited about renovating their homes, must learn about where they might find asbestos in the home and how best to manage it so they can protect themselves and their families from asbestos fibres.
Don't play renovation roulette, think smart, think safe, think asbestosawareness.com.au- it's not worth the risk!