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Easter holiday home renovators urged to seek help with asbestos

Home renovators planning DIY projects over the Easter holidays have been urged to check the Queensland Government asbestos information service before starting work.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland head Dr Simon Blackwood said the asbestos information line on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) and a dedicated asbestos website at www.qld.gov.au/asbestos allowed easy access to information from all Queensland Government departments and local government authorities with responsibility for asbestos-related matters.

“These resources make it simpler to find accurate information relevant to your needs, without having to work out which government agency is responsible,” Dr Blackwood said.

“I would particularly like to urge all home renovators to check out a new short film, Losing breath - The Adam Sager story, which tells the tragic story of Adam Sager who died from the asbestos related disease mesothelioma at just 25 years of age.

“Adam's family shares the heartbreaking story of how they unknowingly exposed their son to asbestos during home renovations when he was only 18 months old. They hope that the film will raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos.”

Dr Blackwood said a typical Queensland home built before 1990 would likely have some materials containing asbestos.

“Asbestos containing material was commonly used in Australian residential, commercial and industrial buildings between the 1940s and late 1980s until its production stopped,” he said.

“It can take as long as 40 years from the time of exposure to the development of an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.

“A report last year into DIY work in NSW homes published by Dr Deborah Yates (St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney) in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that most renovators (61 per cent) may have been exposed to asbestos. Of these, only 12 per cent reported using respiratory protection regularly.

“So, before you start any projects this Easter, please check out www.qld.gov.au/asbestos. There are short films, house plans and expert advice to show you where asbestos might be found and what to do about it – it is absolutely invaluable information.”

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Last reviewed
14 March 2014
Last updated
5 November 2015

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