With deadly asbestos present in a high number of older homes, Member for Stuart, Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, is calling on homeowners, renovators, tradesmen (and women) and handymen to be vigilant about its dangers.
With at least one in three homes built or renovated before 1987 containing asbestos, it is important to be aware that if carrying out work on a building with asbestos, there is a high risk of disturbing asbestos and inhaling asbestos dust and fibres.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan said there was no safe level of asbestos fibres and if asbestos fibres were released into the air, they could cause mesothelioma – a deadly cancer that could take 20 to 50 years to develop after first inhaling the fibres.
Each week 13 Australians die of asbestos related diseases and another 13 are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
“If people are undertaking work on a building and they come across what they suspect to be asbestos, they need to report it to the local council and the EPA (Environment Protection Authority).
“Do not take any risks with asbestos and be aware there are legal requirements regarding asbestos management, removal and disposal.”
The month of November is Asbestos Awareness Month. To learn more about asbestos, including how you can raise awareness and for checklists and fact sheets, visit asbestosawareness.com.au