YOUR readers may have seen the television drama Devil’s Dust on the ABC. The program is a stark reminder to us all about the dangers of asbestos.
While the program depicts events of the past, asbestos is still in existence throughout our communities today.
People are still being diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions and, heartbreakingly, we are seeing cases of asbestos cancers in people in their 30s and 40s.
It is not just workers who were, and are, affected by asbestos dust. It is also their wives, who washed their clothes, and the children they played with when they got home.
Home renovation projects using asbestos cement sheeting were also common, and thousands of Australians were exposed to deadly asbestos dust that way.
Today, it is estimated that one in three homes still contain asbestos. Older homes, those sometimes called “a renovator’s delight”, often contain asbestos somewhere and we now know that in some cases one incident of exposure is enough to trigger disease.
Anyone contemplating renovations should have a professional check if asbestos is present and, if so, they should have it removed. For further information on renovating see www.asbestosawareness.com.au
Joanne Wade, Slater & Gordon