Eco Investor November 2014

Property

Asbestos Awareness Month

November is Australia's national Asbestos Awareness Month, a campaign that urges Australians to ‘Get to kNOw Asbestos this NOvember' and to ‘Stop Playing Renovation Roulette'. At least 1 in 3 Australian homes contain asbestos, and asbestos may be present in any home including brick homes built before 1987.

The campaign aims to educate the community about where asbestos might be found in and around the home and how to manage it safely. This is a way to fight the wave of asbestos-related diseases that are caused by inhaling the dangerous fibres while renovating or maintaining homes. Inhalation can happen simply by drilling a hole to hang a picture or put up Christmas lights.

A recent study in the Medical Journal of Australia says exposure to asbestos fibres was very common during home renovations, particularly in the do-it-yourself (DIY) setting. It showed more than 60 per cent of DIY renovators reported being exposed to asbestos dust during home renovations; 53 per cent reported that their partner had been exposed; and 40 per cent said that their children had been exposed during home renovations.

Asbestos can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and under floor covering, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, garages, ceilings, eaves, fences, extensions to homes, backyard sheds, farm sheds, chook sheds and even dog kennels – it could be anywhere.

There is no safe level of exposure, so the best protection is not to damage or disturb asbestos products when renovating or maintaining the home and thus release fibres into the air, say the campaign managers for Asbestos Awareness Month 2014.

 

 

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