November is Asbestos Awareness Month which aims to educate Australians about the dangers of asbestos in and around homes.
Australia experienced a major housing boom after World War II and the rate of home ownership increased from around 40 per cent in 1947 to over 70 per cent in 1960 and sparked a massive phase of building and construction in Australia. Fibro or asbestos-cement was widely used in this construction era.
Key facts about asbestos in the home
- Every home built or renovated in the years leading up to 1987, is most likely to contain asbestos.
- A conservative estimate is that 1 in 3 homes in Australia contains asbestos including homes constructed of weatherboard and brick.
- If asbestos is undisturbed it 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 were 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.
Click here to read the full article and learn more about National Asbestos Awareness Month in November 2013.