The increase being seen in queues in major hardware stores and corresponding home improvement activities means that a lot more people could unknowingly be putting themselves, their families and neighbours at risk.
“We strongly encourage anyone living in a home built before 1990 to think twice before doing any sanding, wall removal, tile replacement or flooring upgrades due to the very real risk of asbestos exposure,” said Chair of the Taskforce, Latrobe Health Advocate Jane Anderson.
“Asbestos containing products were very common and widely used in Australia right up until the late 1980’s, and are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, interior and exterior walls, under flooring as well as in heating flus and also fencing.
“What we know from a survey undertaken late last year is that many homes in the Latrobe Valley aren’t being checked for asbestos prior to renovation.
“Lung cancer, Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can be avoided if people understand the dangers of asbestos exposure and can minimise the risks.
“While initially these diseases were seen in people who had worked in asbestos mines, then in those working with and/or manufacturing asbestos products, now Australia is seeing a third wave of victims which are mostly home renovators.
“I urge those who may be thinking of doing some home improvements – no matter how small – to visit the asbestos website at www.asbestos.vic.gov.au for information about where asbestos can be found in the home and how to minimise the risk of exposure,” said Ms Anderson.
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