Warnings for renovators to consider asbestos when renovating

November 15 2023 - 10:36am
Renovators are warned to be on the look out for asbestos. Picture supplied
Renovators are warned to be on the look out for asbestos. Picture supplied

It's easy to forget that asbestos is still present in millions of Australian properties, but if a house was built or renovated before 1990, there's a good chance it has asbestos.

National Asbestos Awareness Week runs from November 20-26 and is a good time to remember that asbestos lurks in more places than you'd think. It's still commonly found in bathrooms, laundries and kitchens as well as behind tiles, under flooring and in outbuildings such as sheds, fencing.

Asbestos can be easily disturbed when doing renovations, home improvements or regular maintenance. Sadly, every year in Australia, an estimated 4000 people die from asbestos-related diseases because of past exposure to asbestos.

National Asbestos Awareness Week runs from November 20-26, a timely reminder to renovators to be aware of the risk of asbestos in old homes.

To keep yourself and your family safe around asbestos, take these simple steps:

  • Get in the know - plan ahead before starting any renovations and find out where asbestos is likely to be in your home.
  • Take it slow - to avoid damaging or disturbing asbestos materials.
  • Get a pro - know your limits. Contact a licensed asbestos professional for advice on where it's located, and on how to manage or remove it.

As part of a regional program aimed at reducing the unsafe removal of asbestos by home renovators, Lismore City Council residents are eligible for one free 'Household Asbestos Testing' kit (while stocks last), available from the Lismore Recycling Recovery Centre or the Corporate Centre at Goonellabah.

The kit includes instructions on how to take samples safely and send to a certified testing laboratory. The results are then emailed back to residents. If asbestos is identified and requires removal, residents are urged to use a licensed asbestos removal contractor www.safework.nsw.gov.au/hazards-a-z/asbestos to remove and dispose of it safely.

For further information on household testing or disposal kits, contact council on 6625 0500 or visit www.newaste.org.au/asbestos

For further information on safe asbestos removal and disposal, visit www.asbestos.nsw.gov.au.

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