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Asbestos handling and removal

Asbestos Awareness Month (1-30 November)

Asbestos Awareness Month 2021

National Asbestos Awareness Month (1-30 November) is Australia’s leading multi award-winning asbestos awareness and community education campaign in the prevention of asbestos-related diseases.

With asbestos-related diseases continuing to increase among Australians as a direct result of exposure to asbestos fibres during home renovations or in the workplace; the importance of increasing awareness and educating Australians on how to manage asbestos safely in accordance with regulations cannot be overstated.

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Asbestos could be lurking in your bathroom, kitchen or other unexpected places in your home with at least one in three Australian homes likely to contain this dangerous product. Before its ban in 2003, asbestos was used in more than 3,000 common building materials.

DIY renovators and some tradies are among those most at risk for asbestos exposure. There is no known safe minimum level of exposure.

Find out how to keep you and your family safe around asbestos.

Products around the home that might contain asbestos include:

  • Roofs, eaves, downpipes and insulation
  • Interior walls (often with a non-asbestos covering on the outside)
  • Kitchen splashbacks
  • Under lino, some carpets, and tiles (and the cement compounds used to affix tiles)
  • Lagging around pipes, inside fuse boxes or as part of ventilation shafts
  • Fences, garden sheds and small outdoor construction like chicken coops As part of bonded cement compounds that make up walls –disturbed when you sand for painting

You can’t detect asbestos just by looking at it as some companies manufactured identical-looking products after the asbestos ban in 2003. If you’re renovating your own home, built prior to 1990, you need to be especially careful.  Start by visiting asbestos.nsw.gov.au for more information. You can use the Asbestos Finder to know more about the materials in your home. And if you need, ask a licenced asbestos assessor to inspect your home.

If you’re worried about asbestos in your workplace, your first port of call should be your employer or health and safety representative, and then to SafeWork NSW.

Workers in the building and constructions trades, vehicle trades and manufacturing, as well as plumbers and electricians, are especially at risk of potentially encountering asbestos.

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