As part of National Asbestos Awareness Week, Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding home owners and renovators of the risks of asbestos.
Council’s Director of Communities and Place, Geoff King said asbestos was still widely used in building materials up until 1990.
“Even though the manufacture and use of asbestos was banned several decades ago, it can still be found in many of our Shire’s older homes,” he said.
Household items where asbestos-related products may be found in pre-1990 built homes include flooring under carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, ceilings and roof sheeting, eaves and garages, around hot water pipes, fences and even old chook sheds and dog kennels.
Mr King emphasised that asbestos removal was a job best handled by licensed professionals who have the knowledge and skills to properly remove and dispose of asbestos safely.
One in three homes across the country are estimated to still contain asbestos.
“Proper disposal of asbestos is vitally important,” Mr King stressed.
“Apart from the considerable cost to safely clean up incorrectly disposed of or deliberately dumped asbestos, such acts increase the risk of exposure for the renovator and wider community.”
Exposure to asbestos fibres can result in Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare type of fast-growing cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. There is currently no cure for the disease. Asbestos-related diseases still contribute to some 4,000 deaths each year across Australia.
Severe financial penalties and imprisonment apply for illegal dumping.
National Asbestos Awareness Week will be held across the country from 22 to 28 November 2021.
To learn more about asbestos safety, visit www.asbestossafety.gov.au.