National Asbestos Awareness Week 2021: Think twice about asbestos, it’s in 1 in 3 homes.

This year’s National Asbestos Awareness Week (22-28 November) campaign asks Australians to Think Twice About Asbestos. The campaign challenges complacency by reminding home renovators and tradespeople that the danger of asbestos is far from over.

Asbestos is still present in millions of homes, as well as public and commercial buildings, across Australia. At the height of its use, asbestos was in over 3,000 products and many of these products are still contained in our homes and workplaces.

In homes built before 1990, asbestos can still be found anywhere. This affects 1 in 3 homes nationwide.

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos and when fibres get into the lungs it can cause asbestos-related diseases, including the incurable mesothelioma. The Asbestos Disease Support Society advocates for an Australia free of asbestos-related diseases.

“For anyone who thinks asbestos-related diseases are a thing of the past, think again. Asbestos is still causing cancer in Australians.” Trevor Torrens, General Manager of ADSS said.

“Every year in Australia, there are an estimated 4,000 deaths from past exposure to asbestos. That’s one of the highest death rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world,” said Mr Torrens.

“Whether its DIYers doing small or large jobs around the house, or tradies on a residential worksite, the Think Twice About Asbestos campaign reminds them of the dangers of damaged, disturbed or deteriorated asbestos.”

By preventing exposure to asbestos fibres, asbestos-related diseases can be eliminated.

“With more Australians having more time for DIY during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to tell them how to be safe around asbestos.” said Mr Torrens.

“If you’re considering DIY renovations and maintenance, ‘Get in the know, take it slow and get a pro’.”

“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.”

The National Asbestos Awareness Week campaign promotes the role of licensed asbestos professionals for both home renovators and tradespeople.

“Even tradies need to call a licensed asbestos professional if they don’t have the equipment, skills, training or licence to handle asbestos.” said Mr Torrens.

In recognition of National Asbestos Awareness Week, the Society has a lighting program in the colours of blue and white:

  • 26, 27 November: Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge, Radcliff Place sculptures
  • 22 to 28 November: Queensland Parliament House
  • 26 November: Queensland Country Bank Stadium Townsville
  • 22 to 24 November: Townsville sign, Victoria Bridge, Wharton Reef Lighthouse, George Roberts Bridge, Old Magistrates Court House, Central Park Boardwalk, Little Fletcher Bridge

The Asbestos Disease Support Society is a registered charity and was established in 1992 to support sufferers of asbestos related disease, their families and caregivers and promotes awareness about the risks of exposure to asbestos.