Asbestos check for Australian homeowners

An asbestos check which was recommended in a federal government report may be mandated. This asbestos check, if implemented, will require owners of homes built before 1987 to pay up to $1,155 for an asbestos survey to be conducted if they wish to sell, rent or renovate their home. Homeowners would also be required to pass the survey results onto buyers, renters or any person involved in the home’s renovation which would likely disrupt asbestos.

This asbestos check was recommended as most homes which were built between 1945 and the early 1980s contain asbestos cement sheets. The presence of asbestos in these older homes is not surprising as Australia had the largest rate per capita of asbestos use in the world.

This recommendation for an asbestos assessment is one recommendation among many provided to the Australian government by the Asbestos Management Review, which was commissioned in October 2010. An office of asbestos safety will be established next July 2013 with the role of implementing these recommendations in an effort to make Australia asbestos free by the year 2030.

These steps toward removing asbestos from Australia are extremely important as Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos related disease in the world. The cancer mesothelioma is one of these diseases which are caused by exposure to asbestos. In 2010 mesothelioma claimed the lives of 642 Australians. The incidence of mesothelioma in Australia is not due to peak until 2020.

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