Local Member of Federal Parliament Madeleine King has urged residents to be careful to avoid the dangers of deadly asbestos when renovating this summer.
Ms King said residents in Rockingham and Kwinana were particularly vulnerable because older houses in these areas are highly likely to contain asbestos.
It was a timely reminder for all homeowners with November being National Asbestos Awareness Month.
Ms King said beach houses, weatherboard and fibro houses and traditional suburban brick homes built in the 50s, 60s and 70s were often constructed with asbestos products.
Ms King said she wanted to warn homeowners who planned DIY renovation projects during the summer break to be aware of the danger.
Families were at risk of contracting deadly mesothelioma when asbestos is cut, drilled, sawed or sanded.
“This is such an insidious disease because people are diagnosed decades after inhaling tiny asbestos fibres,” Ms King said.
“Mesothelioma used to be associated with mining at Wittenoom, but increasingly it’s because of exposure in the home due to renovations many years ago.
“A third of all Australian homes contain asbestos. While any home built before 1987 may contain asbestos, it was a very popular building material back in the 50s and 60s.
“There are lots of fibro beach houses along the Rockingham coast and older homes in Kwinana that contain asbestos.
“It’s important to know these homes are safe while the asbestos is undisturbed or undamaged.
“However, the danger is faced by do-it-yourself renovators who don’t take proper precautions.”
Ms King urged homeowners in Brand not to play ‘renovation roulette’ and always seek professional advice or help when dealing with asbestos.
Ms King supported National Asbestos Awareness Month. She said anyone wanting more information about the campaign could contact her office for a brochure or online at www.asbestosawareness.com.au.
More information was also available from the WA Health Department’s website at: