Home renovation is a popular activity in the Latrobe Valley and the Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce is concerned that the asbestos legacy is putting people at risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.
One in three homes built in Australia before 1990 contain asbestos, and the recent survey undertaken by the taskforce shows that these homes aren’t always being checked for asbestos prior to renovation.
“What’s concerning is the risk of asbestos exposure that many DIY home renovators may be opening themselves, their family, and their neighbours up to,” said Chair of the Taskforce, Latrobe Health Advocate Jane Anderson.
“In many cases it is impossible to tell the difference between a product that contains asbestos and one that does not. Licensed professionals will determine if asbestos is present or not only through laboratory testing.
“While licensed professionals are conducting around 1 in 5 asbestos assessments, we’d like to see more licensed professionals checking older properties to ensure that any asbestos present is identified and dealt with appropriately.
“We want to ensure the health and safety of everyone is considered when doing home renovations – DIY renovators and their families and neighbours, apprentices, tradespeople, and anyone who may go onto a property being renovated.
“There is available advice and information for DIY home renovators about identifying, removing and disposing of asbestos on the asbestos website, which is the best place to start,” said Ms Anderson.
Asbestos website: www.asbestos.vic.gov.au
Key DIY home renovator statistics from the survey:
- 56% of those renovating properties built before 1990 are undertaking an asbestos assessment.
- 36% are doing the asbestos assessment themselves.
- Of those who do undertake asbestos assessments, 22% are contracting licensed professionals to perform the assessment.
Also see: Latrobe Valley Asbestos Survey Results