Council backs asbestos awareness campaign for home renovators

Port Stephens Council is getting behind Asbestos Awareness Month this November to urge homeowners, renovators, tradesmen and handymen to be alert for asbestos in home projects.


Led by the Asbestos Education Committee, the Asbestos Awareness Month campaign has a particular emphasis on the growing trend for DIY and renovation to educate people about the dangers and health risks of exposure to asbestos fibres, including the deadly mesothelioma.


Council is also reminding the community during Asbestos Awareness Month to be vigilant about damage or vandalism to Council buildings containing asbestos.


A total of 56 locations including amenities and public halls have been marked with asbestos safety signs as part of Council’s ongoing Asbestos Awareness campaign.


Mike McIntosh, Council’s Group Manager of Development Services, says many people wrongly believe that only fibro homes contain asbestos.


“Asbestos products are still commonly found in and around brick, weatherboard, clad and fibro homes built or renovated before 1987,” Mr. McIntosh said.


“It can be under floor coverings, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, walls, ceilings, eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences and garages.


“With the aging of homes and the popularity of DIY, renovating and knock-down-rebuild, it’s vital anyone working in or around homes or buildings built or renovated before 1987 is aware of where asbestos might be found in homes, and how to manage it safely.”


Mr. McIntosh also said it was impossible to tell whether a product contained asbestos simply by looking at it.


“If people aren’t sure, they should take action as though asbestos is present and take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families,” he said.


“We also ask anyone who sees any damage to a community building with an asbestos safety sign to report it to Council.”

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