Asbestos has long been a concern for building renovators and now the Ombudsman in Queensland has expressed concern about the problem. The Ombudsman has suggested to the State government that they deal with asbestos related problems by setting up a special department devoted to tackling the issue.
An increase in asbestos related diseases is expected to coincide with a boom in home renovations in the state of Queensland. Perhaps the most concerning part about asbestos is that the diseases it causes are incurable and the main one Mesothelioma is expected to peak in upcoming years.
Workers in the construction industry are particularly vulnerable to asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer especially those involved in renovation work on old buildings or rebuilds on older sites where asbestos could be lying dormant. When disturbed by renovation work these fibres are released into the air to be inhaled or ingested by workers or anyone who enters the site. There is now a concern that the general public, not experienced construction workers may be exposed to life threatening asbestos fibres, without knowing the proper precautions to take to protect themselves.
The report also noted that as home renovations increase in the near future it is likely that cases of mesothelioma from non-occupational exposure from home renovations are also expected.
A report has been presented in parliament which detailed the asbestos threat of buildings constructed before 1990. Although people are aware of asbestos and its danger, they are not sure about how to handle the situation if they discover asbestos while renovating and there is no coordination to facilitate uniformity in dealing with the substance.
A special department would help assist the public with the problem by getting the word out and developing uniform procedures for dealing with the discovery of asbestos.
Read this post from SafetyCulture.com.au that explains further:
The Ombudsman in Queensland recently recommended that a new department be set up by the State government to deal with the problems that are related to asbestos.
This call is on the back of an anticipated increase in asbestos related diseases because of the boom in the states home renovations.
A report that was presented in State Parliament yesterday that buildings that were constructed prior to 1990 in Queensland may actually contain asbestos but that there is a lack of understanding about the best way to deal with it and no central coordination.
It takes between 10 and 40 years for asbestos related diseases to develop and in 2010 asbestos related diseases were responsible for 640 deaths in Australia.
The report said that the incidents of mesothelioma are anticipated to peak between 2013 and 2021.