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Master Builders warns of asbestos health risks

With summer a popular time to undertake home renovations or other projects, Master Builders Australia has warned DIY enthusiasts to be mindful about the dangers associated with asbestos.

Approximately one in three Australian houses contains asbestos and Master Builders warns that the material can pose a risk to health unless it is carefully managed.

Master Builders acting chief executive officer Richard Calver said that asbestos was used widely in building materials right up until the mid-1980s.

Back then, it was commonly used in roof insulation, flooring underlay and adhesives, kitchen and bathroom tile products, wall and ceiling products, gutters and downpipes, and more.

Therefore, in those properties containing it, it might well be found in every room of the house.

The problem is that it can be difficult to identify and can be dangerous to health once disturbed and airborne.

For those undertaking home improvement projects this summer, Master Builders offers three tips for safely avoiding exposure to potentially harmful asbestos.

It is recommended that before getting started on your project you check with a building expert about the age of your home and how likely it is that asbestos may be present.

Don’t start any work unless you are sure you won’t be disturbing asbestos – if in doubt, assume that you probably will.

If you suspect there is asbestos in your home, get a licensed professional to handle and dispose of any materials which contain it, no matter how much there is.

Mr Calver says that if you are ever uncertain about asbestos, the best course of action is to ask an expert.

“[H]ome renovators and DIY enthusiasts should not downplay the importance of seeking professional advice to avoid disturbing asbestos in order to complete their projects safely,” said Mr Calver.

Inhalation of asbestos dust and fibre can lead to serious health problems, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, Asbestos Related Pleural Disease (ARPD) and lung cancer.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an asbestos related condition, then it might be a good idea to talk to personal injury lawyers in Sydney.

There are compensation lawyers who have many years’ experience in claims involving asbestos and other dust related conditions.

This means they understand the nature of these diseases – how symptoms can manifest many years after exposure, for instance – and can respond as urgently as your claim dictates.

© 2013 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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