The threat of Asbestos is still alive and well according to a study by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) which shows Australians are still unaware of the dangers of living with Asbestos.
The study highlighted that although there is good general awareness of the catastrophic effects of Asbestos, few are clear of where the hazardous material may be found within the home and how to safely manage its presents
Home Renovators – the third wave of Asbestos sufferers
Since Asbestos was identified as a hazardous material there have been “three waves” of people who have or are suffering debilitating Asbestos-related diseases:
- Those who worked in the mining and the processing of the substance (first wave)
- Those whose jobs put them in regular contact with Asbestos (second wave)
- Those who have had no known work related exposure to airborne Asbestos (eg home renovators) (third wave)
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has estimated that by 2020, 13,000 Australians will have contracted mesothelioma, with another 40,000 projected to suffer from Asbestos-related cancers.
Asbestos Threats for DIY Renovators
Even though legislation requires disclosure of the presence of hazardous materials in properties, houses are still being sold without independent assessment of whether or not there is Asbestos present.
According to Juliet Duffy of Regional Enviroscience, an Asbestos and hazardous materials consultancy based in in Regional NSW: “Because the location of Asbestos is not known in most pre-1980’s homes we see many home renovators disturbing and being exposed to Asbestos before they realise there is any risk” she says. Asbestos