BUILDERS and renovators are the target of an awareness campaign running through November.
National Asbestos Awareness Month aims to educate Australians about the dangers of the once ubiquitous building and insulation material which has contributed to one of highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world.
Local government authorities have been enlisted in the quest to reach home owners, tradies and handymen and teach them how to ensure protection from exposure to dangerous asbestos fibres.
Bellingen Shire Council's deputy general manager, Matt Fanning, stressed the importance of education.
"Asbestos-related diseases continue to increase as a direct result of exposure during home renovations and maintenance," he said.
"The importance of raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos and how best to manage it in and around homes, cannot be overstated..
"Many wrongly believe that only fibro homes contain asbestos.
"Asbestos products can most likely be found in any Australian home built or renovated before 1987 including brick and weatherboard.
"Most people can't tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them.
"Asbestos can be under floor coverings such as carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space insulation, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, outdoor toilets and backyard sheds.
"It is vital to take the warnings seriously and stop playing renovation roulette."
For more information contact a local Council building department or visit ww.asbestosawareness.com.au to discover where asbestos may found in the home, the dangers of disturbing it and how best to manage it.