Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related disease in the world, according to the Asbestos Education Committee. New Zealand, too, is affected by this dangerous and prevalent home-building material.
That's why National Asbestos Awareness Month, which will take place from November 1 to 30, has been organised. It aims to inform and educate people about the dangers of asbestos.
This is especially pertinent if you're planning on renovating your home in the coming weeks and months.
If you are planning to give your home a splash of paint, and are cutting, sanding or water blasting surfaces in order to prepare, you could accidentally release asbestos fibres without realising it.
You may then inhale these fibres, which can cause lung cancer and other illnesses.
In order to prevent this from happening, the Asbestos Education Committee has released some information about where you might find asbestos in and around your home.
You should give some serious thought to the following before undertaking any major renovations.
If your house was built before 1987, reveals the Asbestos Education Committee, there is a pretty good chance it will contain asbestos in some shape or form.
It was used in a wide variety of building materials, including carpet and other floor coverings, such as cement and different kinds of tiles.
This dangerous fibre can also be found in "internal and external walls, ceilings, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, outdoor toilets, dog kennels and backyard sheds," reveals the Asbestos Education Committee.
Basically, it could be anywhere.
If you're not sure, it's best to contact a professional. If you find you have asbestos in your home, it’s best, to enlist the services of a licensed removal company to get the asbestos out of your house before you begin renovating.