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Council encourages residents to become asbestos aware

20 October 2015

With Asbestos Awareness Month approaching, Western Downs Regional Council are encouraging home owners and renovators across the region to get to know the dangers of handling asbestos materials in and around the home.

Spokesperson for Environmental Health Councillor Greg Olm said people should avoid removing asbestos materials unless absolutely necessary and should only remove materials that are already broken and dislodged.

“Asbestos Awareness Month this November is a timely reminder to our communities to be mindful when it comes to cleaning up building materials in and around homes and properties. Houses built before 1990 are more likely to contain asbestos, and residents should take every precaution when it comes to handling materials that could contain asbestos,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to tell if building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them. So, when working in and around the home, it is wise to assume that you are dealing with asbestos and treat it accordingly.”
Cr Olm said the safest way to manage and remove asbestos is by hiring a licenced asbestos removal contractor, however if your home is damaged in a severe weather event residents can take the following precautions for the safe removal of asbestos from their homes.

“It is essential to protect yourself and others within the vicinity when removing debris which could contain asbestos. Asbestos fibres can be released into the air by sawing, drilling or breaking up building materials,” he said.

“Asbestos sheeting and materials should be wetted down before being wrapped in polythene sheeting for disposal. This prevents fibres from being airborne and becoming a possible health risk.

“Asbestos rubbish of more than 10m² must be removed by a licensed removalist. All waste containing asbestos should be kept wet, wrapped and sealed and removed as soon as possible.”

When disposing of this material clearly label the polythene sheeting as follows: Caution – Asbestos. Do not open or damage bag. Do not inhale dust.

For advice regarding asbestos removal, call 1300QH INFO (1300 744 636) or go to www.qld.gov.au/asbestos or www.worksafe.qld.gob.au.

For further information regarding the disposal of asbestos material contact Council on 1300 COUNCIL.
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