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Remove asbestos from buildings by 2030: govt report
17/08/2012 - A government-commissioned report has called for the removal of all materials containing asbestos from commercial and government buildings by 2030.
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The report, released by workplace minister Bill Shorten on Thursday, also called for a national asbestos management body to be set up.
Current health and safety laws provide rules for managing asbestos issues within the workplace, but more needs to be done in non-employment related exposure, the report said.
Shorten warned Australians could be hit by a "third wave" of diseases relating to asbestos exposure, pointing to research that suggested an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 of Australians will be diagnosed with asbestos related disease during the next 20 years.
"This 'third wave' includes men and women who built, renovated or demolished a house, garage or fence containing asbestos or those who innocently washed-asbestos-laden clothes," he told parliament on Thursday.
About a third of homes built between 1945 and the late 1980s contain some asbestos products - in walls, ceilings, eaves, kitchens, bathrooms, vinyl floor tiles, sheds and garages, Shorten said.
He urged people planning to renovate their homes to get advice from qualified asbestos removalists if they have any doubts about the presence of asbestos.
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