Skip to content
Environment

National Asbestos Awareness Week a crucial reminder for vigilance around toxic material

NSW Environment Protection Authority 2 mins read

It has been 20 years since asbestos was banned in Australia and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is urging the public to increase vigilance to avoid asbestos exposure.

In National Asbestos Awareness Week (20-26 November) the spotlight is on the rise in asbestos-related disease cases, highlighting a concerning gap between education and exposure rates.

Executive Director for Programs and Innovation Arminda Ryan said millions of residential and commercial buildings still contain asbestos.

“Whether working as a tradesperson or undertaking DIY home renovations, it is crucial that you work in a way where asbestos exposure is minimised.

“As the lead agency for the NSW Asbestos Coordination Committee, we have a responsibility to set a high standard across Government for reducing asbestos-related issues,” said Ms Ryan.

“Asbestos can cause serious harm to the public and the environment.

“4000 people die annually from asbestos-related diseases – roughly four times the annual road toll – so improved education around the serious risks of exposure is crucial.

“There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, but some types of exposure are more dangerous than others; such as working to remove the material,” Ms Ryan said.

Exposure rates are partially influenced by the popularity of ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) home renovations in Australia. Asbestos fibres become dangerous when disturbed, damaged, or deteriorated; all which can happen when undertaking construction or renovation works.

Some of the products that may contain asbestos include:

  • roofs, eaves, downpipes, and insulation
  • interior walls (often with a non-asbestos covering on the outside)
  • in the adhesive under lino, carpets and behind tiles fences, garden sheds and small outdoor constructions like chicken coops
  • lagging around pipes, inside fuse boxes or as part of ventilation shafts
  • as part of bonded cement compounds that make up walls, which can be disturbed when sanded in preparation for painting.

Risk to people and the environment can be minimised through hiring a licensed asbestos assessor or removalist, prior to beginning works where asbestos may be involved.

Learn more about how you can better protect yourself, your family, and the environment from asbestos exposure at https://www.asbestos.nsw.gov.au/.


Contact details:

media@epa.nsw.gov.au

More from this category

  • Environment, Political
  • 01/03/2024
  • 08:00
The Australia Institute

***MEDIA ALERT*** Tasmanian, federal independents advocate for pathway out of native forest logging

Media alert | Friday, 1 March 2024 Tasmanian independent MP for Bass Lara Alexander, federal independent MP for Mackellar Sophie Scamps and Australia Institute Executive Director Richard Denniss will hold a media conference in Launceston today following Premier Jeremy Rockliff’s decision to expand logging. It will be followed by a public forum with Dr Scamps and Dr Denniss, A Pathway Out of Native Forest Logging, from 1pm. Where: Launceston Conference Centre (auditorium 2) When: 12.30pm Friday, 1 March 2024 Who: Lara Alexander, Tasmanian independent MP for Bass Dr Sophie Scamps MP, federal independent member for Mackellar Richard Denniss, Executive Director…

  • Environment, Food Beverages
  • 29/02/2024
  • 11:54
Saveful

Carrots Reign Supreme: Is this Australia’s Most Leftover Food Ingredient?

Statistics from free phone app Saveful have revealed that Carrots are the most researched ingredient online when it comes to finding recipes, closely followed…

  • Contains:
  • Environment, Political
  • 29/02/2024
  • 11:02
The Australia Institute

Tasmanian logging expansion an environmental tragedy

Media release | Thursday, 29 February 2024 Premier Jeremy Rockliff’s decision to expand native forest logging will drive threatened species closer to extinction and is out of step with voters, the Australia Institute warns. Australia Institute spokesperson for native forests, Vanessa Bleyer said: “Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff’s decision to cut down 40,000 hectares of pristine wilderness is an environmental tragedy. “It will push threatened species closer to the brink and is completely out of step with voters who want to see their precious forests protected. “Our research shows seven in 10 Australians want native forest logging banned. “99% of Tasmanians…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.