National Asbestos Awareness Week: Think twice about asbestos and know where to look

Your home might be the 1 in 3 that has asbestos so if you’re considering DIY renovations or maintenance the EPA wants you to get in the know, take it slow and get a pro.

Asbestos is present in millions of homes and buildings across Australia so this National Asbestos Awareness Week the EPA is reminding people to take precautions and know where to look when renovating.

EPA Unit Head Education Programs Sharon Owens said homes and buildings built before 1990 are likely to contain asbestos. That’s 1 in 3 homes nationwide.

“If your house was built before 1990 it probably has asbestos-containing materials in rooms including the bathroom, laundry, kitchen, living areas, and even in backyard and outside areas like gutters, drainpipes and sheds,” Ms Owens said.

“Asbestos poses a serious health risk if damaged, weathered or worked on so it’s really important if you’re planning renovations that you take precautions and think twice about asbestos ahead of time.

“Checking in with the Government’s helpful website before you start your renovations will help keep you, your family and your neighbours safe.

“It includes plenty of information about asbestos for home renovators and tradespeople such as how to identify asbestos, how it can be safely removed and disposed of, and who to contact for advice.

“It also includes a range of safety resources such as how to find a licensed removalist and arrange an asbestos assessment from a licensed asbestos assessor before starting a renovation to best protect your family, neighbours and the wider community.

“People working on homes built before 1990 can stay safe if they know where asbestos is, if they don’t disturb or damage it, and if they seek professional help to locate, manage or remove it,” Ms Owens said.

“The safest way to treat asbestos is to be informed before you come in to contact with it, and get an asbestos professional to help so this National Asbestos Week I encourage everybody to take the time and think twice about asbestos.”