National Asbestos Awareness Month enters tenth year
Australia’s tenth annual National Asbestos Awareness Month has released an asbestos education resource to help save lives.
National Asbestos Awareness Month’s Asbestos 101 for Residential Property Owners, Managers and Tradies will help reduce the incidences of asbestos-related diseases as Australia continues to face significant health risks of asbestos-related diseases due to asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) remaining hidden in one-third of Aussie homes.
“Having identified the need for this new, unique education resource for those most likely to come into contact with asbestos in residential properties (homeowners, renovators, property managers and tradies), the Asbestos Education Committee continues to increase community awareness by providing vital free resources to help save lives,” Asbestos Education Committee and Advocacy Australia chair Clare Collins says.
“While Australia faces the serious wave of silicosis disease, a preventable occupational lung disease predominantly impacting workers from a wide range of industries, Australians must never forget that asbestos lurking in homes continues to pose serious health risks to anyone exposed to fibres when asbestos is not managed safely during renovations, maintenance or demolition including mums, dads and children.”
When asbestos is disturbed and microscopic fibres are released that can be inhaled, this can lead to asbestos-related diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. There is no cure for mesothelioma, a cancer that can develop between 33 and 44 years after inhaling asbestos fibres with the average survival time following diagnosis around 12 months.
With Australia’s annual asbestos-related death toll of more than 4,000 predicted to rise, the Asbestos Education Committee is urging homeowners, property managers and tradies to learn how to manage asbestos safely. The newly developed Asbestos 101 for Residential Property Owners, Managers and Tradies education resource was developed for anyone who might do work on residential properties.
Provided in Asbestos 101 for Residential Property Owners, Managers and Tradie is information including why asbestos is dangerous, the risks of working unsafely with ACMs, the steps to take if they come across materials they suspect may contain asbestos, the importance of engaging an occupational hygienist or licenced asbestos assessor to confirm if asbestos is present and why it’s vital to only use licenced asbestos removalists to ensure hazardous asbestos materials are removed and disposed of safely following government regulations.
Asbestos 101 for Residential Property Owners, Managers and Tradies was developed under government Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice.
To learn how to manage asbestos safely and access Asbestos 101 for Residential Property Owners, Managers and Tradies resource, please visit the Asbestos Awareness website.