Dangers of asbestos
WHEN I became Australia’s first Asbestos Awareness Ambassador, I pledged my full support to this vital campaign to increase awareness of how dangerous asbestos can be to homeowners, tradespeople and families when renovating, maintaining or demolishing homes or other structures. Asbestos can be found in brick, weatherboard, clad and fibro homes behind wall and floor tiles, under floor coverings including carpets and in walls, ceilings, roofs, gutters and even dog kennels. It could be anywhere. Sadly, current research tells us that people are unknowingly exposing themselves and their families to dangerous asbestos fibres during home renovations, and with TV renovating programs fuelling the popularity of DIY, during national Asbestos Awareness Month (November). Together with my fellow ambassadors Cherie Barber, Scott Cam, Barry Du Bois, John Jarratt and Scott McGregor, we hope to help save the lives of people like Mrs Carol Klintfält OAM, who tragically lost her battle with malignant mesothelioma on November 7, 2014. I had the great honour of knowing Carol through our work in raising awareness of the very real and present danger of asbestos to homeowners and the tragic consequences of renovating without knowing the risks of disturbing asbestos products, which can be fatal. This heart-breaking consequence was Carol’s reality. Carol developed mesothelioma because she inhaled asbestos fibres when working with an architect and while handling fibro sheets when renovating the family home in the 1970s. Mesothelioma is a cancer that usually develops between 20-50 years after inhaling asbestos fibres. There is no cure and the average survival time after diagnosis is only 10 to 12 months – hard-hitting statistics none of us can ignore. An extraordinary woman, Carol was more than a statistic. When she lost her battle with asbestos-related disease, her family lost a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister and many lost a very dear and special friend. This family was no different to the hundreds and thousands of homeowners throughout Australia. When they renovated their home, they didn’t know the dangers or that the impact of working with asbestos would be devastating. One in every three homes built or renovated before 1987 will contain asbestos products all Australians need to “Get to kNOw asbestos this NOvember” and visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au to learn the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely because it’s not worth the risk.
Asbestos Awareness Ambassador
Stephen Bennett It’s no wonder electors are concerned they can’t get an appointment to see their local MP when these members are trying to cover vast electorates.