Asbestos exposure high among home renovators

Research based on a NSW questionnaire found six in ten DIY renovators have been exposed to asbestos, but fewer than 15% said they regularly used protection.

A high proportion of home renovators said their partner (39.3%) or children (22.8%) had been exposed as well.

Just under a third said they used protection occasionally.

Australia has one of the highest rates of the malignant mesothelioma in the world. 

Asbestos has been banned since the 1970s, but all homes built before the mid-1980s are potentially risky.

The research, led by Associate Professor Deborah Yates of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, acknowledged there is a lack of clarity about how much exposure is dangerous.

"Whether exposure during home renovation will result in disease in the future remains to be seen. However, this entirely preventable exposure needs to be addressed," the authors said.