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Asbestos Awareness Week – what to know

November 24, 2019

Monday 25 November kicks off  National Asbestos Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of Australians not to be complacent about the dangers of harmful asbestos fibres. 

It’s a fact of life that living in Australia means living with asbestos – Australia was one of the highest worldwide users of asbestos through history, and despite its use being banned since 2003, large amounts of asbestos are still present in many Australian homes, workplaces and the environment.

At the height of its use, asbestos was in over 3,000 products and many of these products are still contained in our homes and workplaces. 

As the holiday season approaches, it’s a timely reminder that one of the bigger groups at risk of exposure to asbestos in the home environment are DIY renovators, along with tradespeople working in homes. 

It is vital to ensure that homeowners and renovators are aware of the very real risks of exposure to asbestos. That’s why Asbestos Awareness Week is educating Australian homeowners and DIY renovators about the likely presence of asbestos in older homes – and in places they might not think about. 

In many cases, it is impossible to tell the difference between a product that contains asbestos and one that does not, as some companies manufactured identical-looking products after the asbestos ban. Many people are not aware that asbestos is not just a “blue/green tinge” to the product material, but also the presence of white fibres. This is often mistaken for newer fibre-cement products and mishandled with much less consideration to the risks of exposure. 

Asbestos Awareness Week is a chance for all Australians to become aware of where in the home or workplace asbestos could be, and to make sure they know what to do to avoid becoming exposed. 

If you or someone you know, is affected by an asbestos-related disease, Reflections runs a support network connecting sufferers and their families and providing resources to assist in the journey.

Visit
www.reflections.org.au for more information.