Reflections bought hope and awareness as Perth lit up blue
Think Twice About Asbestos
National Asbestos Awareness week 2021 was a huge success. And, although the week is over, we would like to remind everyone that asbestos awareness is important year-round.
This year’s campaign asked Australians to Think Twice About Asbestos, reminding home renovators and tradespeople that the danger of asbestos is far from over.
In homes built or renovated before 1990, asbestos can still be found in many places. It was only in December 2003 that asbestos was banned in Australia. Before that, Australia was one of the highest users of asbestos with it being used in over 3000 products.
During COVID-19 we have seen a burst of home improvement activity as people spend extra time in their houses during the pandemic or take the opportunity to invest in their own homes.
There is a significant health threat if fibres are released, become airborne and are then inhaled. Breathing these fibres can cause a range of life-threatening diseases, including asbestosis and terminal cancer, mesothelioma.
Reflections is pleased to be reducing the ongoing IMPACT of asbestos and bringing HOPE to those affected.
“Really enjoyed the empowering message you spoke on radio, Jo and Lizz. Thank you for standing with us all in our mesothelioma journey.”
Geoff and Tracey (Clients)
A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended events during the week, donated to support our work and got out and about in Perth sharing photos of the lights in memory of lives lost and as a reminder to remain vigilant around asbestos.
“Well done to Jo and the Reflections team. You did an awesome job in raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos.”
Michael McLean (Reflections Ambassador)
If you are interested in knowing more about the work we are doing or would like to get involved, do not hesitate to reach out and one of our team will get back to you.
Be safe! Be asbestos aware!
Home renos – What do we know about asbestos? How much do we care?
As we live in isolation to avoid the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus, many of us are blissfully unaware that there is a more sinister silent killer residing in many of our homes.
Pondering what I could write to encourage safety around asbestos, I’m mindful there are many resources out there from reliable sources but do we want to know? Do we really care?
That sounds harsh but it’s my experience that ‘it’s not personal until it’s personal’… and by then it’s too late.
If you knew something had the potential to kill you, you would avoid it. Asbestos is a silent killer and by that, I mean many people are not aware how common it is in so many homes and how deadly it really can be.
Before my father’s diagnosis in 2010, I knew very little about asbestos and its dangers and couldn’t even pronounce the terminal, asbestos-related cancer – mesothelioma. Ten years later, I run a charity reducing the impact of asbestos in the community through:
Over the years, my level of awareness has increased considerably and so has my belief that there are too many Australians who do not know or, in many instances, care enough to protect themselves and those around them.
As a building designer, I regularly visit sites where asbestos is present and just as regularly come up against a lack of understanding or, worse than that, a blasé attitude toward it. This is one time where the ‘she’ll be right, mate’ Aussie euphemism just won’t cut it. The facts are that it might not be all right. Asbestos is deadly, end of story!
You can’t see, smell or taste asbestos and there is NO KNOWN SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE.
Let me break that down for you. That means if you think you can be exposed to a small amount of asbestos and not get sick, you’re wrong. It is true that some people will only get the calling cards of asbestos exposure and not go on to develop an acute illness, but there is no way of predicting who will get sick and who won’t.
My father, a builder, was part of the 2nd ‘wave’ of sufferers – those who worked directly with asbestos-containing materials. Unfortunately, due to the large amounts of in-situ asbestos in homes and properties, we are now experiencing a 3rd wave which includes people who were exposed to asbestos through DIY projects or tradies who were called in to do the work.
Through the support network Dad started in 2014, I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know many lovely people whose lives were cut short due to something they knew little about and had limited exposure to. In fact, the majority of our current group are women with non-occupational exposure.
In 30 years time, are we going to look back to this time as another ‘wave’ of asbestos-related disease impacts our community? I believe we can do something now to prevent that. We need to make sure we are aware, that we understand just how dangerous this seemingly innocuous substance can be and take care to avoid exposure.
As many of us are using this time to catch up on some DIY around our homes we need to be mindful that asbestos was not banned in Australia until late 2003. As a general rule, if your house was built…
before the mid-1980s it is HIGHLY LIKELY
between the mid-1980s and 1990, it is LIKELY
after 1990, it is UNLIKELY (but possible) that it has asbestos-containing materials.
If you’re not sure and would like some advice, you can send through a pic and description of your project, and we’ll ASK AN EXPERT on your behalf. You can do this through our Facebook page or via email.
The message is simple…
DON’T DRILL, SAND OR DISTURB asbestos-containing material.
Be safe! Be asbestos aware!
Jo Morris Reflections Co-founder and Operations Manager