With Australia having one of the highest incidences of asbestos related cancers in the world, and with confirmed cases of asbestos related cancers continuing to increase as a result of home maintenance and renovation, exposure to asbestos fibres is considered a major threat to the health of Australians.
EVERY home built or renovated before the mid 1980's is likely to contain asbestos. If left undisturbed asbestos generally does not pose a health risk. However, when disturbed during renovations and home maintenance, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and when inhaled, can cause life-threatening diseases including lung cancer, pleural disease, asbestosis and mesothelioma, an incurable, terminal cancer.
Key facts about asbestos in the home
- Every home built or renovated in the years leading up to 1987, most likely contains asbestos!
- A conservative estimate is that 1 in 3 homes in Australia contains asbestos including brick.
- If asbestos is undisturbed it generally does not pose a health risk.
- Many Australians may unknowingly be putting their health and the health of their children, and neighbours at risk because they don't really understand the dangers of working with asbestos or know where it might be found in and around their home.
- During renovations or the demolition of homes containing asbestos, asbestos fibres can be released into the air and be inhaled leading to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- Not only homes constructed of fibro contain asbestos. Asbestos may be found in every room in the home. It may be behind wall and floor tiles, in walls, ceilings, under floor coverings including lino and carpet and around hot water systems.
- Only scientific testing of a sample of material by an accredited National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) asbestos testing laboratory can confirm the presence of asbestos. For information on testing and accredited laboratories in your area, visit www.nata.asn.au or call (03) 9274 8200.
- If asbestos materials are in good condition, paint them and leave them alone.
Domestic Asbestos Removal Kits
West Wimmera Shire Council provide $40 Domestic Asbestos Removal kits for the removal of up to 10m2, available at the Shire offices in Edenhope and Kaniva.
1 DVD - Asbestos in the Home Removal Kit Instruction Guide
1 Domestic Asbestos Removal Kit Instruction book
4 Plastic Sheets 2m x 2m
2 Printed disposable asbestos bags 600mm x 900mm
2 Printed disposable asbestos bags 700mm x 1100mm
2 Tyvek disposable coveralls
2 3M 9322 valved respirator P2 individually wrapped
4 Niyrile blue gloves
4 Shintoe disposable overboots
1 Silver duct tape 48mm x 30m
1 Barrier tape printed 'Danger Asbestos" 10m
4 EW "Economy Wipes" wipe down cloths
1 Atomiser spray bottle
1 PVA glue 100ml
1 Multi purpose plastic sheet 2m x 4m
West Wimmera Shire transfer stations will only accept asbestos from home owners within in the shire up to a maximum of 10m2 that have been handled and wrapped in accordance with the OH&S Act (2004). A fee of $10 per 10m2 of wrapped asbestos applies.