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Renovators – beware of asbestos danger in your home

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In a statement today, Wattle Range Council warned that many home contain asbestos and many people do not know it is there, what to look for, and where it may be contained. November is asbestos month and WR Mayor Peter Gandolfi encouraged people to use this month to check their home and surroundings for asbestos.

“Wattle Range Council Mayor Peter Gandolfi said people may not know that potentially deadly asbestos may be hidden in their homes.

Mr Gandolfi, a former carpenter himself, said while asbestos was banned in Australia in the 1980’s, home renovators need to be aware of the dangers asbestos poses to them and the fact that a relatively modern home may contain asbestos.

“In the past the dangers of asbestos weren’t well known. Today, exposure to asbestos has been linked to a number of related illnesses like asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and pleural disease,” he said.

The Asbestos Diseases Research Institute & the Asbestos Education Committee are conducting a nationwide asbestos awareness campaign, which will be supported locally by the Wattle Range Council, Banner Mitre 10 Millicent and Penola True Value Hardware.

Next month from the 4th to the 29th of November, Council officers will set-up displays at both Banner Mitre 10 Millicent (Kentish Place, Millicent) and Penola True Value Hardware (23 Arthur Street, Penola).

November is Asbestos Awareness Month and aims to inform Australians about the dangers of asbestos in and around homes because Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos related diseases in the world.

“With asbestos-related diseases continuing to increase among Australians as a direct result of exposure to asbestos fibres during home renovations and maintenance, the importance of raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos and how best to manage it in and around homes, cannot be overstated,” Mr Gandolfi said.’

More information can be found at http://www.asbestosawareness.com.au

Fact Sheet follows:-

Do you know where asbestos might be found in your home?

1. Do you know that if your home was built or renovated before 1987 there is a high likelihood that it WILL contain asbestos products in one form or another?

2. Do you know that even if your home is constructed of BRICK that it might contain asbestos?

3. Do you know WHERE you might find asbestos products in your home?

4. Do you know that asbestos was used in the manufacture of MANY building and home decorator products including carpet underlay and wall and floor tiles?

5. Do you know that asbestos might be found in and around ONE IN THREE Australian homes?

6. Do you know that if you disturb products containing asbestos you RISK INHALING asbestos fibres?

7. Do you know the diseases that asbestos fibres can cause, and that they CAN BE FATAL?

8. Do you know how to IDENTIFY asbestos products?

9. Do you know the PRECAUTIONS you need to take when working with asbestos?

If you said NO to ANY of the above you are not alone! Most Australians don’t realise where asbestos might be found in their homes and the risks they take when disturbing it during renovations or maintenance.

Many wrongly believe that ONLY fibro homes contain asbestos. Asbestos products can most likely be found in ANY Australian home built or renovated before 1987 even brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes.

Asbestos can be found under floor coverings such as carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, outdoor toilets, dog kennels and backyard sheds – it could be anywhere!

It’s vital that Australians take the warnings seriously, that they stop playing ‘renovation roulette’ and protect themselves and their families from exposure to asbestos fibres during renovations and maintenance.

Australians need to think smart, think safe, think asbestosawareness.com.au – it’s not worth the risk!

Before renovating, visit http://www.asbestosawareness.com.au to learn where asbestos might be found in your home, the dangers of disturbing it and how best to manage it.

During Asbestos Awareness Month Australians can also host a ‘Blue Lamington Drive’ to raise awareness of asbestos in homes and help raise vital funds for asbestos diseases research by visiting http://www.bluelamington.com.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact Councils Manager of Building & Planning (John Best) for further advice on asbestos before proceeding with home renovation, maintenance or demolition.

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