'Betty - the ADRI House' brings asbestos awareness

The NSW government has launched a fresh campaign warning of the dangers of asbestos, as part of Asbestos Awareness Month.

The campaign sees ‘Betty – The ADRI House’, a purpose built mobile model house, and her crew traveling the state to educate residents about what to do to identify asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

Part of the new campaign is also set to target naturally occurring asbestos (NOA), which isn’t uncommon around the Central West, and how to manage it safely.

Because of it’s high use asbestos can still be found in one third of Australian homes built or renovated before 1987.

Heads of Asbestos Co-ordination Authorities chairwoman Katheryn Heiler said NOA can constitute the same dangers as manufactured asbestos

“It’s important to know where it is and how to manage it if it’s likely to be disturbed,” she said.

“Many activities which can disturb NOA include driving vehicles, digging, ploughing and gardening, and in particular anything which can kick up dust.

“Although there’s no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers, what we do know is the greater the exposure, the greater the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases,” she said.

Actor and Asbestos Awareness ambassador John Jarratt said he got involved to honour the memory of his friend Harold Hopkins, who passed away in 2012 from mesothelioma after he knocked down an asbestos-ridden property in 1968.

“He was a fitness fanatic and he was dead in six months. He was one of my best friends and I do this in his honour so not too many more people die for no good reason,” he said.

“Most Australians believe that asbestos-related diseases are a thing of the past but they’re very wrong. Each week 13 Australians die of asbestos-related diseases.

“Today we know better and we do know the risks so if you’re a homeowner, renovator, tradie ot property manager, please take the warnings seriously,” he said.

Betty will now head through NSW West before heading to Tasmania. For more information visit asbestosawareness.com.au/