November is national Asbestos Awareness Month
Australia’s national Asbestos Awareness Month campaign will launch on 1 November with a new message, ‘Renovating? Go Slow! Asbestos – It’s a NO GO’.
The Asbestos Awareness Month campaign is an initiative of the Asbestos Education Committee, the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities. It aims to remind Australians that asbestos can be found in any home built or renovated before 1987 and that asbestos-containing materials remain in one in every three Australian homes.
Asbestos could be anywhere including under floor coverings, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings, insulation, eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, garages, extensions, farm structures and even dog kennels.
Asbestos-containing materials can be disturbed during renovations or maintenance, releasing fibres that can be inhaled. These can cause asbestos-related diseases including malignant mesothelioma, a cancer that can develop 20-50 years after inhaling asbestos fibres. There is no cure for this disease and the average survival time is just 10-12 months following diagnosis.
There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres so it’s extremely important for all Australians to safely manage asbestos-containing materials that might be found in and around their homes.
The website asbestosawareness.com.au provides easy to follow information, an online product database to help identify the types of asbestos-containing products to look for and possible locations, and information on how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely.