FOUR Blacktown suburbs are among the top 20 in the state most at risk from Asbestos but many residents are unaware of the danger. Seven Hills, Lalor Park, Blacktown and Doonside make the list, a report compiled by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union says. The suburbs form part of what is known as the “Asbestos belt” of Sydney and are home to hundreds of post-war houses built using cement Asbestos fibro.
Asbestos a Massive Risk to Home Renovators.
Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson, who lives in Blackett, said many people in the community were unaware of the risk. “A lot of people don’t realise that they are living in an Asbestos cement fibro home, commonly known as a fibro home,” he said. “There’s a lot of people moving in to the area. They’re first-home buyers and they don’t realise the dangers of these homes and they’re starting to renovate. “People do a renovation, they drill, break and even use high-pressure machines to clean the walls. “The water breaks down the binding, thus releasing the deadly fibres into the atmosphere. That’s how it becomes airborne and dangerous, not only for themselves but their families and their neighbours. “The problem is you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t taste it. You don’t know you’ve got a disease until it presents in your body. “It could take 10, 20, 40 years even for the disease to present itself. It’s one of the biggest health issues in the city of Blacktown.”
Asbestos cannot be identified by a visual inspection. All suspect Asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) must be tested in a NATA Asbestos laboratory to confirm the material contains Asbestos. Enviroscience offers an Asbestos testing service for commercial clients and a downloadable DIY Asbestos test kit which is also an Asbestos home test kit for bonded or non-friable materials.
‘Any fibro house built before 1987 would have Asbestos, not only on the outside walls but in the eaves, laundry, kitchen and bathroom areas’, Mr Robson said. His advice to home renovators living in Asbestos fibro houses was unequivocal: “Don’t drill, don’t sand, don’t break and don’t use high-pressure machines.”
Jamie Eyles, who runs an Asbestos removal business in Seven Hills, said he carried out up to 20 jobs in the Blacktown