Throughout November, Central Coast Council is reminding residents about the risks associated with the removal and handling of asbestos, as part of Asbestos Awareness Month.
Asbestos Awareness Month aims to educate homeowners, renovators, handymen and tradespeople about the dangers of working with asbestos and how to manage those dangers safely.
Australia was one of the largest consumers of asbestos-containing materials in the world, with asbestos found in one in every three homes built or renovated before 1987.
While considered safe if left undisturbed, when products containing asbestos are disturbed, handled incorrectly or not disposed of properly, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and inhaled; potentially causing asbestos-related diseases such as malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Central Coast Council Administrator, Ian Reynolds, said Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos related diseases in the world.
“Symptoms of mesothelioma can take 20 to 50 years to appear following exposure, and there is currently no cure,” said Mr Reynolds.
“Residents may unknowingly put their health as well as their families, children and neighbours at risk because they don’t know the dangers of asbestos or where it might be. It is a case of potential ‘renovator roulette’.
“If you are unsure whether your house contains asbestos, there are a range of services and information available that can identify, deal with and safely remove any hazardous asbestos containing materials.
“Everyone has a role to play in protecting themselves and the community. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres, and there are legal requirements when it comes to proper management, removal and disposal of asbestos.”
Asbestos Awareness Month is run in partnership with the Asbestos Education Committee, Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities.
For information on how to identify products containing asbestos, locating where it might be in and around your home and property, a safety checklist, as well as how to manage asbestos in your home, visit asbestosawareness.com.au
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Last updated : Wed 18 Jul 2018
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