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01NOV17 – 30NOV17 National Asbestos Awareness Month – raising community awareness and education to encourage Aussies to learn how to identify, manage and dispose of asbestos safely. 

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.

One of our greatest challenges is that most Aussies wrongly believe that deaths caused from asbestos are a thing of the past, but they couldn’t be more wrong! Deadly asbestos lies hidden in 1/3 of Aussie homes; it can be in any brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad home built or renovated before 1987. It was used everywhere – 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, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, home extensions, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels.

If well maintained and undisturbed, asbestos isn’t likely to pose a health risk to families. However, without knowing the types of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) to look for, or the dangers of asbestos and how to manage these products safely, homeowners, renovators, tradies and handymen put their lives and the lives of others, at risk.

Encourage the renovators and tradies you know to visit where they’ll find 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 user-friendly Asbestos Awareness Healthy House Checklist – A Homeowner’s Guide to Identifying Asbestos-Containing Materials or the Residential Checklist for Tradies – A Tradespersons Guide to Asbestos. The Checklists are step-by-step guides that help homeowners or tradies conduct a fast and easy visual inspection of their home or properties and to ensure asbestos is managed safely and in accordance with regulations.