Asbestos Not Just In The Walls Renovators Warned

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6th August 2010, 04:53pm - Views: 1112

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Media Enquiries:

Edward Lukac, South Australian Archicentre spokesperson (08) 8228 0300

Mobile: 0419 817 445

Ron Smith Corporate Media Communications Archicentre Mobile: 0417 329 201 

Media Release 

6 August 2010

Renovators and Buyers of Old Homes Warned


Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects today issued a

warning to renovators and home owners  that asbestos  was not just to be found in the walls of the

building but could also be present in a range of other products including linoleum.  

The asbestos warning follows after an incident at a renovation of a property where the home owner called

Archicentre about asbestos in floor coverings. The home owners purchased a 50 to 60 yr old home and

discovered while ripping up the floor coverings and having them tested that the "lino" is 70 to 80%


Edward  Lukac,  South Australian Archicentre spokesperson said the real risk of exposure to asbestos

fibres and dust occurs with the demolition of walls or roofs during renovation of a property, drilling

or cutting of products containing asbestos or even the removal of old linoleum or vinyl tiles. 

Mr Lukac said “It is vital for everyone to understand that once you disturb asbestos people must

recognise the extreme health risks involved for home owners and their families of the diseases

which can be caused by asbestos dust.

“These include asbestosis (a progressive, fibrotic lung disease causing increasing breathlessness), lung

cancer and mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer affecting the lining of the chest cavity and the covering of

the lungs or, less often, the lining of the abdominal cavity and the covering of abdominal organs).

“These diseases can occur many years after the exposure to asbestos dust has ceased, but the likelihood of

a person contracting an asbestos-related disease increases as the intensity and duration of the exposure


Mr Lukac said large numbers of houses throughout Australia have been constructed using asbestos-cement

products as internal and external walls, ceilings and roofing. Asbestos was used in flat sheet fibro cement

building products up to 1982 and in corrugated fibro-cement roofing material up to 1986 because of its

cheapness and ease of installation. 

Asbestos sheeting or other materials containing asbestos should always be removed by a specialist

contractor who will also arrange for its disposal in a landfill registered to take asbestos materials, Mr

Lukac added.

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