Staying safe as houses

The purpose built mobile model house, Betty, will be in Smithton at the end of the month to offer locals an opportunity to learn more about asbestos.

Health. A house named Betty will make a stop in Smithton as part of a national asbestos awareness campaign.

‘Betty – The ADRI House’, standing for Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, is set to tour Tasmania visiting 28 communities as part of National Asbestos Awareness Month in November to educate homeowners, renovators and tradies about the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely.

Betty, a purpose built mobile model house the size of a caravan, is the only education tool of its kind that demonstrates the multiple locations where asbestos might be found in and around homes.

Australia was among the highest consumers of asbestos in the world and asbestos containing materials can still be found in one third of Aussie homes built or renovated before 1987 including brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad homes. It was also commonly used in farm structures.

Asbestos was used everywhere in homes – lurking under floor coverings including carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, home extensions, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chook sheds and even dog kennels.

If sealed, in good condition and left undisturbed, asbestos is not considered dangerous. However, if disturbed and microscopic fibres become airborne or settle on clothing, equipment or machinery and can be inhaled, fibres can lead to incurable diseases including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

Working closely with WorkSafe Tasmania and the Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation, Betty and her dedicated crew will educate people on how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely.

Betty will be in Smithton, at Armour Timber and Hardware on Monday October 30, 10am to 11.30am. To find out more visit asbestosawareness.com.au.

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