Asbestos lurks in more places than you’d think
Did you know more than a third of Australian homes contain asbestos – even homes built from brick or other materials? If your home was built before the 1990s there’s a good chance it has some asbestos.
Asbestos is often found:
- under flooring - under lino, some carpets, and tiles
- in interior walls, as part of bonded cement compounds that make up walls - this becomes a risk when you sand before painting walls
- as part of kitchen splashbacks
- it’s commonly in roofs, eaves, downpipes and insulation
- even in the backyard in fences, garden sheds and small outdoor construction like chicken coops.
National Asbestos Awareness Week 2020 reminds Australians to be asbestos aware before starting any work around the home.
Know the risks
Don't risk the possible health effects of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos becomes dangerous once the fibres are disturbed, become airborne and then inhaled. This can happen if you’re sanding, drilling, cutting or sawing asbestos-containing materials.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and inhaling asbestos fibres can cause a number of life-threatening diseases including pleural disease, asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Asbestos-related diseases cause approximately 4,000 deaths a year – three times the annual road toll.
Be aware of where asbestos might be in your home
Asbestos was used in hundreds of building materials, commonly found in bathrooms, laundries, and kitchens as well as behind tiles and under flooring.
Use the Asbestos Finder to learn more about where asbestos might be.
Find out where asbestos might be here
Call for some advice and help
Thinking about a home renovation? Make sure you’re aware of where asbestos might be found so you know how to stay safe.
Just like plumbing and electrical work, asbestos removal – or jobs around the home that might uncover asbestos - are jobs best left to the experts.
Work health and safety (WHS) laws prohibit work involving asbestos apart from in specific circumstances where you are required to follow strict safety rules.
The law may also prevent you from removing asbestos yourself, and if you are allowed, you must follow strict safety precautions and use the right Personal Protective Equipment.
A hazardous material, asbestos must not be disposed of with general waste.
To help keep asbestos out of household bins, Council offers residents a free collection program for up to 10sqm of bonded asbestos. Find out more about these services or call 9806 5544.