Don’t play renovation roulette with asbestos

Burdekin residents renovating their homes may be playing “renovation roulette” if their home contains asbestos.

Burdekin Shire Council’s Senior Building Certifier Trevor Maltby said November was Asbestos Awareness Month and Burdekin residents needed to be aware of the dangers of working with asbestos during home renovations.

“Australia has one of the highest incidences of asbestos-related cancers in the world and with confirmed cases continuing to increase as a result of home maintenance and renovation, exposure to asbestos fibres is considered a major threat to the health of Australians,” he said.

“If residents are considering renovating their homes and they are unsure about whether there is asbestos or not, they should contact a professional. Asbestos generally does not pose a health risk if it is left undisturbed, but it’s best to play safe.

“Many residents wouldn’t realise that asbestos products can be found in any home built or renovated before 1987 – even brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes.

“Asbestos can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, under floor coverings, behind wall and floor tiles, internal and external walls, garages, ceilings, eaves, fences, roofs, around hot water pipes, extensions to homes – basically anywhere.”

Mr Maltby said there was a great website _ www.asbestosawareness.com.au – which showed renovators where asbestos could be found and how best to manage it.

“Young couples and first home buyers in particular should learn about where they might find asbestos and how best to manage it so they can protect themselves and their families from asbestos fibres,” he said.

“Material containing asbestos must be removed and disposed of by a licensed contractor.”

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