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February 1, 2023

Asbestos: it’s in 1 in 3 homes

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Asbestos: Get in the know. Photo supplied

This year’s National Asbestos Awareness Week campaign asks Australians to ‘Think Twice About Asbestos’. The campaign challenges complacency by reminding home renovators and tradespeople that the danger of asbestos is far from over.

National Asbestos Awareness Week runs from November 22 to 28, and this year warns that if your home was built before 1990, asbestos can still be found anywhere inside or outside the house. It was used in thousands of building materials at the time and becomes dangerous if damaged, disturbed or deteriorated.

North East Waste and member councils, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Tweed Shire are working together to help reduce asbestos exposure risk across the region.

Asbestos-related diseases a thing of the past?

North East Waste Project Coordinator, Karen Rudkin said that anyone who thinks asbestos-related diseases are a thing of the past, think again. ‘Asbestos is still causing cancer in Australians.’

Ms Rudkin said that every year in Australia, there are an estimated 4,000 deaths from past exposure to asbestos.

‘That’s one of the highest death rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world.

‘Whether it’s DIYers doing small or large jobs around the house, or tradies on a residential worksite, the Think Twice About Asbestos campaign reminds them of the dangers of damaged, disturbed or deteriorated asbestos.

Asbestos-related diseases can be eliminated in the future

By preventing exposure to asbestos fibres now, asbestos-related diseases can be eliminated in the future.

‘With more Australians having more time for DIY during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to tell them how to be safe around asbestos.’

‘If you’re considering DIY renovations or maintenance, “Get in the know, take it slow and get a pro”. People working on homes built before 1990 can stay safe if they know where asbestos is, if they don’t disturb or damage it, and if they seek professional help to locate, manage or remove it.’

Get in the know

To ‘Get in the know’ all Northern Rivers councils offer subsidised ‘Household Asbestos Testing’ (HAT) Kits, as part of a program aimed at reducing the unsafe removal of asbestos by home renovators.

For the safe removal of up to 10 square meters of bonded asbestos only (in compliance with government guidelines), subsidised ‘Household Asbestos Disposal’ (HAD) Kits are also available from some councils.

For further information on where to get a Household Asbestos Testing or Disposal Kit and

how to use them safely, contact your council or visit www.newaste.org.au/asbestos.

For further information on all things ‘asbestos’ including a list of licensed professionals visit: https://www.asbestos.nsw.gov.au.


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