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Federal MP rallies for community awareness of asbestos dangers

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Federal MP Rallies for Community Awareness of Asbestos Dangers

Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Federal Member for Tangney Dennis Jensen has urged residents to be aware of the risks associated with coming into contact with asbestos.

“Many people in the area could still have asbestos in and around their homes,” Dr Jensen said.

“This becomes a serious problem when people renovate their homes, pull down a fence or even install a new heating system because they could be exposing themselves to hazardous asbestos fibres.”

Dr Jensen said residents were ignoring the potential risks involved with having asbestos in their homes.

“Asbestos exposure has been associated with very serious health conditions such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and cancer,” he said.

“If the home you are living in was constructed during or prior to the 1980’s then there is a good chance it may contain asbestos, and tampering with it may release the hazardous fibres.”

“In the past, asbestos wasn’t just used as a building material for fences - it was often sprayed onto ceilings, used as insulation, as rooving and underneath flooring.”

Dr Jensen said he had met with a constituent this week, recently diagnosed with asbestosis, who had seen a man tearing down an asbestos fence with no protection and seemingly unaware of the dangers this activity posed to himself and those living

around him.

“Quite frankly, this came as quite a shock to me - I didn’t realise there were people out there still unaware of the potential risks of doing such a thing,” Dr Jensen said.

P 1/2 “It seems to me that people are either ignoring the risks involved with asbestos exposure, or that the issue has fallen under the radar and people are unaware the dangers even exist.”

Dr Jensen said he would urge anyone who wanted to start renovations or make alterations to their house and suspected asbestos had been used in the construction of their home, to call the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia on 1800 646 690.