With Asbestos Awareness Week kicking off on November 26, DIYers and home renovators are urged to be vigilant when carrying out work around the home.
Almost every Australian home built or renovated before 1987 is likely to contain the life-threatening fibre, therefore it is imperative that people practice absolute care when embarking on renovation projects, experts say.
Professor Nico van Zandwijk, Asbestos Disease Research Institute director, said it can be difficult to identify asbestos as it can be found in a number of different building materials such as tiles, linoleum, cement floors, walls, ceilings, hot water pipes, dog kennels, backyard sheds and carpets.
"It's important for all Australians to understand that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres because there is no cure for asbestos-related diseases," the professor commented.
"Education is our first line of defence in preventing the crushing third wave of cancers caused by exposure to asbestos fibres when renovating or maintaining homes."
Lindsay Farris, chair of the National Youth Theatre Company Foundation and face of this year's campaign, said young people needed to be more aware of the dangers that asbestos still poses today.
"Young people are often oblivious to health concerns - they think they're indestructible and think that asbestos is something that affected their grandparent's generation, but they couldn't be further from the truth," Ms Farris explained.