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January 17, 2018

Asbestos facts on the road

THE Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) is doubling its efforts to warn builders and renovators of asbestos dangers.

New Englanders have the chance to ask anything about asbestos and where it might be found in local buildings or homes, with the visit this week of a special asbestos mobile van.

The awareness campaign centres on a purpose-built, mobile model home called “Betty” and she’s on her maiden regional tour.

“Betty” is the size of a caravan and was in Tamworth and Walcha yesterday and is headed to Uralla and Armidale today and then Glen Innes on Friday and Tenterfield on Saturday.

Tamworth Regional Council deputy mayor Russell Webb, who has been a Workcover officer for years, said people should check the right way to remove and dispose of asbestos and a visit to “Betty” was a good way to get that information.

WorkCover could also give advice to renovators, he said.

“Betty” is the brainchild of the Asbestos Education Committee in partnership with the ADRI and is designed to demonstrate where asbestos might be found in and around any Australian home built or renovated before 1987.

Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos- related diseases in the world because it was one of the biggest consumers of asbestos and related products in the 20th century.

Health experts say the number of people with mesothelioma will continue to rise unless

Australians start taking the dangers of asbestos seriously.

Today sees “Betty” at Uralla from 10.30am-noon at Salisbury St, next to Pioneer Park, then in Armidale at 2pm at Curtis Park and at Glen Innes tomorrow from 11am to 1pm in front of the council chambers.

“Betty” wraps up her New England tour in Tenterfield on Saturday from 10.30am at Bruxner Park.

Reports of the illegal disposal of asbestos are also increasing, including an incident in Tamworth in late May where a load of asbestos was illegally dumped near Locks Ln off Scott Rd.

NSW Cancer Registry statistics show that in 1972 there were no cases of mesothelioma reported in the Hunter.

By 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 25 people had died in the region and 28 were diagnosed with mesothelioma.

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Asbestos facts on the road

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