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October 20, 2018

DIY crowd plays renovation roulette with deadly asbestos

TOOWOOMBA residents are playing renovation roulette.

They are exposing themselves to asbestos, with TV shows like the Block encouraging people to do the work themselves, a Toowoomba ex-builder has said.

Wayne Bryan worked as a house builder since the 1960s and was exposed to asbestos.

He now lives with pleural plaques which were caused by the dangerous silicate mineral.

The condition is characterised by fibrous thickening on the lining of the lungs (pleura) or diaphragm.

It typically arises 20 to 30 years after asbestos exposure.

Mr Bryan is a member of the asbestos awareness group Toowoomba Region and Darling Downs Support.

He said asbestos was everywhere around Toowoomba.

“Sadly, the do-it-yourself crowd see getting dressed up with overalls, masks and gloves as too much of a problem.

“People are still being exposed and are complacent to the dangers of asbestos.

“Within the building trade there is almost 100% compliance with the safety aspects.

“But among the do-it-yourself crowd there’s not much awareness.” He said prevention was still a big issue.

“It’s very a serious business dealing with the product.

Wayne Bryan from asbestos support group Toowoomba Region and Darling Downs Support says asbestos is everywhere in Toowoomba.
Wayne Bryan from asbestos support group Toowoomba Region and Darling Downs Support says asbestos is everywhere in Toowoomba. Bev Lacey

“You’d be surprised at some of the places it is.”

Mr Bryan said asbestos was generally safe if it was bonded.

“It’s when it becomes free-floating that it’s a problem.

“Once you start cutting, scraping or sanding a fibro sheet you can be exposed.”

Asbestos related diseases are no joke.

Mr Bryan’s illness causes shortness of breath and associated pain.

“I’m very susceptible to lung infections and exertion causes breathlessness,” he said.

  • TRADDS was established to offer assistance, information and guidance to people affected or concerned about asbestos.
  • The group is mainly made up of retirees who are affected by asbestos disease.
  • It meets on the third Friday of every month from 10am at the Cancer Care Centre, High Street Plaza.

See the article here – 

DIY crowd plays renovation roulette with deadly asbestos