There is a high level of awareness of asbestos and asbestos related issues in the Latrobe Valley. The two most highly rated concerns regarding asbestos are the health impacts and the illegal dumping of asbestos.
Nearly two in three (65%) have known someone who has died or whose health has been affected as a result of asbestos exposure.
The vast majority (95%) have undertaken home renovations, with 68% reporting they had renovated properties built before 1990, when use of asbestos containing materials was still common.
While awareness of asbestos related issues is high, 39% claim they are able to identify materials that may contain asbestos, but only 29% have received any formal training.
DIY Home renovator section
The DIY home renovators section of the survey revealed that 67% have undertaken home renovations in the past three years, and just over half (56%) reported that a risk to asbestos exposure was undertaken on properties built prior to 1990.
Of concern is the 36% who undertook a risk of asbestos exposure assessment themselves, without engaging professionals. Only 13% had received formal training in the safe handling and disposal of asbestos.
Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) DIY home renovators went on to remove asbestos themselves. The majority (57%) who removed asbestos themselves state that it is because they believe they have the skills/knowledge to do so.
Two out of five (43%) reported that they were likely to do renovation work in the next 12 months, and of these:
- 11% have had formal training
- 28% have accessed information on safe asbestos removal prior to removal and disposal
- 33% reported to use 'their own common sense' when it came to asbestos removal and disposal.
The Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce was established by the Victorian Government in 2019 to review how asbestos is managed in the Latrobe Valley.
Part of the activities of the taskforce include understanding and listening to the community, as well as increasing awareness about asbestos.
This survey is the first in a series that will be repeated each year, to measure awareness levels and attitudes towards asbestos.
Section 2. Home Renovators
The questions in this survey have been based on a national benchmark survey undertaken by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency with permission. Visit https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au for further information.