Australia’s ‘renovation obsession’ triggers wave of asbestos exposure

With lung disease continuing to be one of the most common cancers, property owners and investors, particularly those planning to renovate, have been urged to take the appropriate precautions with asbestos exposure on the rise again.

house renovation spi

Slater and Gordan State Practice Group leader Joanne Wade said that while the mining of asbestos and the manufacture of asbestos products ceased many years ago, the legacy of asbestos will live on for generations.

Ms Wade warned that Australians are still continuing to be diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung disease 40-50 years after their exposure. There is often a short window between diagnoses and the disease taking hold, she added.

It also remains in many buildings, homes, schools and work sites, which means that those renovating older buildings should exercise caution, she warned.

“In our desire to bash out the walls of our 50s/60s/70s doer-uppers, we forget, or because we didn’t grow up with it, that the dust lies dormant in many of our homes. And because of this, we are seeing a new wave,” said Ms Wade.


“The national renovating obsession brings with it a need for caution.”

Ms Wade advised renovators to check if they have asbestos walls or roofs in their house before they go knocking down walls.

“Check if you need to protect yourselves, your neighbours and your contractors,” she said.

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