App helps as­sess as­bestos risk

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

CURTIN Univer­sity re­searchers are aim­ing to map the preva­lence of as­bestos in homes across WA and help home ren­o­va­tors iden­tify po­ten­tially deadly risks with a free new phone app.

Aimed at com­bat­ing as­bestos-re­lated ill­nesses from do-it-your­self ren­o­va­tors, the app, called ACM Check, of­fers a stepby-step guide to as­sess the level of risk from as­bestos prod­ucts that may ex­ist in homes.

The app was de­vel­oped by PhD stu­dent Matthew Govorko, un­der the guid­ance of As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Ali­son Reid and Pro­fes­sor Lin Fritschi at Curtin Univer­sity.

Prof Reid said even though as­bestos ce­ment prod­ucts were phased out in WA be­tween 1981 and 1987, it was es­ti­mated one-third of all Aus­tralian homes con­tained as­bestos.

“Aus­tralia has the sec­ond high­est mesothe­lioma death rate in the world, with about 600 cases of mesothe­lioma di­ag­nosed across the coun­try each year, so it is im­por­tant we do all we can to en­sure more peo­ple are not ex­posed to this deadly prod­uct,” she said.

Mr Govorko said the app had been de­signed as a screen­ing tool to iden­tify and as­sess the con­di­tion of po­ten­tial as­bestos-con­tain­ing ma­te­ri­als in and around the home, while also of­fer­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion for home ren­o­va­tors from rep­utable sources.

“The app guides users through a se­ries of ques­tions, aided by pho­to­graphs, to iden­tify the po­ten­tial level of risk in and around their homes be­fore they start to ren­o­vate,” he said.

ACM Check can be down­loaded for free from the Ap­ple store and Google Play.

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