16 October 2014

A new information booklet targeting home renovators and small builders has been launched by the Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation (AFTF).

AFTF president Simon Cocker said asbestos remained in some older Tasmanian buildings.

“The presence of asbestos in a home poses potential significant health risks for DIY enthusiasts and smaller builders who may not be aware of the precautions required when removing it and disposing of it,” he said.

“I doubt there would be anyone in the Tasmanian community today unaware of the thousands of workers who have died because they were exposed to asbestos during its manufacture.

“Trades people who worked with materials that contain it were also impacted.”

There are significant risks associated with improper removal of asbestos.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause serious diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Mr Cocker said now there were stories about the “third wave” of people, generally DIY enthusiasts, who were becoming ill or dying following exposure to asbestos.

“DIY and home improvements is a growing industry, and we want to see Tasmanian home renovators and their families safe and protected from the dangers of asbestos,” he said.

“The simple message is be safe, be prepared, and let’s eradicate asbestos wherever possible, for the future safety of all Tasmanians.”

Officially launched today, the booklet has been produced with support from the Tasmanian Government, Bunnings, Mitre 10, K&D Warehouse, Paradigm Tas Pty Ltd and Allison Laboratories Pty Ltd.

The AFTF booklet is available from all Bunnings and K&D stores and selected Mitre 10 stores.

It will also be available to download here.