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National Asbestos Awareness Week 2021: Think Twice About Asbestos, it's in 1 in 3 homes

Media Release

This year's National Asbestos Awareness Week (22-28 November) campaign asks Australians to Think Twice About Asbestos. The campaign challenges complacency by reminding home renovators and tradespeople that the danger of asbestos is far from over.

Asbestos is still present in millions of homes, as well as public and commercial buildings, across Australia.

In homes built before 1990, asbestos can be found in any room of the home. This affects 1 in 3 homes nationwide.

"For anyone who thinks asbestos-related diseases are a thing of the past, think again. Asbestos is still causing cancer in Australians," said Assistant Minister to the Attorney General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations, and Assistant Minister for Women, Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker.

Every year in Australia, there are an estimated 4,000 deaths from past exposure to asbestos, including approximately 700 from mesothelioma. That's one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world.

"Whether it is DIYers doing small or large jobs around the house, or tradies on a residential worksite, the Think Twice About Asbestos campaign reminds them of the dangers of damaged, disturbed or deteriorating asbestos."

By preventing exposure to asbestos fibres, asbestos-related diseases can be eliminated.

"With more Australians having more time for DIY during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to remind them how to be safe around asbestos."

"If you're considering DIY renovations and maintenance, 'Get in the know, take it slow and get a pro'."

"People working on homes built before 1990 can stay safe if they know where asbestos is, if they don't disturb or damage it, and if they seek professional help to locate, manage or remove it."

The National Asbestos Awareness Week campaign promotes the role of licensed asbestos professionals for both home renovators and tradespeople.

"Even tradies need to call a licensed asbestos professional if they don't have the equipment, skills, training or licence to handle asbestos," Senator Stoker said.

Find out more about National Asbestos Awareness Week 2021.