As­bestos poses risk

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FEEDBACK -

WHEN I be­came Aus­tralia’s first As­bestos Aware­ness am­bas­sador, I pledged my full sup­port to this vi­tal cam­paign to in­crease aware­ness of the dan­gers of as­bestos.

As­bestos can be found in brick, weath­er­board, clad and fi­bro homes, be­hind wall and floor tiles, un­der floor­cov­er­ings, in walls, ceil­ings, roofs, gut­ters and even dog ken­nels.

Sadly, cur­rent re­search tells us that peo­ple are un­know­ingly ex­pos­ing them­selves and their fam­i­lies to dan­ger­ous as­bestos fi­bres dur­ing home ren­o­va­tions.

We hope to help save the lives of peo­ple like Mrs Carol Klint­falt, 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 as­bestos to home­own­ers, and the tragic con­se­quences of ren­o­vat­ing with­out know­ing the risks of as­bestos prod­ucts which can be fa­tal.

Carol de­vel­oped mesothe­lioma be­cause she in­haled as­bestos fi­bres while han­dling fi­bro sheets when ren­o­vat­ing 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 10-12 months – hard hit­ting sta­tis­tics none of us can ig­nore.

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 as­besto­saware­ .au to learn about as­bestos and how to man­age it safely be­cause it’s not worth the risk.

DON BURKE, As­bestos Aware­ness am­bas­sador

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