Think twice about asbestos disposal – do things the right way.
In 2022, National Asbestos Awareness Week (21-27 November) reminds Australians to Think Twice About Asbestos. This year, the campaign asks home occupiers and tradespeople to 'do things the right way' by ensuring the proper and lawful disposal of asbestos.
An estimated 4,000 Australians die annually from asbestos-related diseases, which is nearly four times the annual road toll. Asbestos is still present in millions of homes, as well as public and commercial buildings. Many buildings constructed before 1990 still contain asbestos. In fact, across Australia, asbestos is in 1 in 3 homes.
"Australia still has one of the highest death rates of asbestos-related diseases per capita in the world,"
Asbestos causes cancer and if not disposed of properly, it puts council workers, and the community's health at risk.
This is why we are asking all Australians to do things the right way when it comes to asbestos disposal.
Alarmingly, *research has shown that over a third of those who have encountered asbestos during a DIY project or renovation admitted to illegal and dangerous disposal – mostly in their own or a neighbour's household bin.
Also alarming, is the illegal dumping of asbestos waste in the environment or at sites not licensed to accept asbestos waste.
"Both the intentional illegal dumping of asbestos and the often-unintentional improper disposal of asbestos waste in kerbside bins has serious and far-reaching consequences,"
An estimated 6,000 tonnes of asbestos are illegally dumped every year costing around $11.2 million per annum to remediate.
"The impact of illegal dumping extends far beyond health and the environment, costing taxpayers millions each year in clean-up costs." "Illegally dumped asbestos puts an unnecessary strain on public resources; resources that could be better spent on other vital community services."
Illegal asbestos disposal is a crime. There are strict laws relating to illegal disposal and heavy fines apply. This includes improper disposal of asbestos such as in kerbside or skip bins. All asbestos waste must be properly disposed of at a licensed facility.
"People working on homes built before 1990 can find out how to remove and dispose of asbestos the right way by contacting a licensed asbestos professional or seeking advice from www.asbestossafety.gov.au/who-contact/search-disposal-facilities."
"Even tradies need to call a licensed asbestos professional if they don't have the equipment, skills, training or a licence to handle asbestos,"
"Protect your household, your workmates, and your community. Find out how to safely and legally dispose of asbestos in your area."
Further information is available at [Insert your state or territory's WorkSafe or SafeWork website or www.asbestossafety.gov.au
*Research conducted by Newgate Research on behalf of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. Report available at www.asbestossafety.gov.au