(Image source : http://www.actu.org.au/Images/Dynamic/attachments/7727/ACTU%20Asbestos%20Report%20Final-Auspoll.pdf )

Auspoll, a survey recently commissioned by the ACTU has revealed that most Australians want the government to implement measures to have asbestos completely removed from all homes and public buildings by 2030.

Auspoll, as the survey was named, indicated that the majority of Australians (around two thirds) are still concerned about the effects of asbestos and the health risks it poses, regardless of its nation-wide ban a decade ago.

Last month the national inquiry into the removal of asbestos report was released. According to the report, government should aim to have asbestos completely removed from public and commercial buildings within the next 18 years. The inquiry also suggests the establishment of an audit into the presence of asbestos in residential buildings erected prior to 1987.

According to statistics around 500 Australians die each year from Mesothelioma, which is why citizens remain so concerned about the presence of asbestos in houses and buildings. According to ACTU president,Ged Kearney the poll, consisting of 1022 people showed ‘deep public concern’ about theissue, hence the 2030 target.

Asbestos has been used in thousands of materials and products throughout Australia for decades and has historically been used in places that were likely to experience intense exposure to the elements, which would degrade and deteriorate the product.So asbestos was used to give the product strength and longevity.  As the material deteriorates asbestos fibres are released into the air, which can have extremely harmful effects on the health of the human beings who inhale it, especially over time.

Although asbestos was banned, there are a number of buildings and homes that are still laced with asbestos through asbestos containing building materials which is now deteriorating and posing a potential threat. With Australia’s high rate of asbestos consumption, members of the public are understandably concerned.

It is thought that over one million homes have asbestos containing material, that’s almost a third of every domestic dwelling built prior to 1982, as well as hospitals, offices and schools. It is affecting the entire nation.

The majority of people who participated in the poll agreed that asbestos remains a huge health risk in Australia and even more indicated that the presence of the deadly substance would affect their decision to buy a home or not.

According to the poll, around 85% of the public back the recommendation for a national audit to be conducted which would identify remnant asbestos across Oz and about 90% advocated a national program for its removal.

Another recommendation made by the poll participants was for property sellers to have to provide certification that a property is asbestos free before selling it and even admitted their willingness to pay more for a property if the asbestos was removed by the previous owner.

A national asbestos summit is to be held in Sydney from the 4th of September to discuss how to handle the problem of asbestos. The unions will use the summit to discuss their plans for the removal of asbestos.

To read more about the ACTU Poll, visit http://www.actu.org.au/Images/Dynamic/attachments/7727/ACTU%20Asbestos%20Report%20Final-Auspoll.pdf



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