November is National Asbestos Awareness Month and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is urging homeowners, renovators and tradies to take the warnings about asbestos seriously when renovating or maintaining homes.
If well maintained and left undisturbed asbestos is unlikely to pose a health risk. However, if asbestos-containing materials are disturbed and fibres are released they can cause asbestos-related diseases including incurable malignant mesothelioma which can develop between 20-50 years after inhaling asbestos fibres. The average survival time is 10-12 months following diagnosis.
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder CEO John Walker said that given the age of many homes in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, finding asbestos during a renovation was not uncommon.
“Australia was among the largest consumers of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in the world with asbestos used in the manufacture of a broad range of building and decorator products that can still be found in 1 in 3 brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad Australian homes,” he said.
“It can be in any home built or renovated before 1987; lurking under floor coverings including carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space as insulation, eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, home extensions, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels.
The City’s Environmental Health and Compliance Team is inviting local tradies to join them at Bunnings for a Tradies Breakfast on Friday 17 November at 7am to learn more about the risks of working with asbestos. Residents can find out more at www.asbestosawareness.com.au