Unlicensed contractors create asbestos danger

Published Monday, 25th July 2016

Unlicensed contractors who exposed asbestos when they used a high-pressure water hose on a house roof have prompted a warning to residents from Fairfield City Council.

Council’s Environmental Management officers are investigating an incident that potentially exposed residents in the Fairfield Local Government Area to asbestos; it has left a householder with a clean-up bill that could total tens of thousands of dollars.

“Unlicensed contractors advertising and promoting roof cleaning and restoration within the Fairfield LGA were recently paid to ‘clean’ a residential roof,” Mayor of Fairfield City Frank Carbone said.

“A high-pressure water device was used, resulting in a pollution incident. The owner has been left with a substantial asbestos clean-up cost for her property as well as her adjacent neighbours’ properties.

“The contractors have ‘disappeared’ after being paid and cannot be contacted.”

The Asbestos Education Committee website (www.asbestosawareness.com.au) states that if asbestos is disturbed it can release dangerous fine particles of dust containing asbestos fibres. Breathing in this dust can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is the cancer that most often occurs in the lining of the lung. There is no cure.

If you are thinking about renovating, it is important for home owners and renovators to be aware of how to safely manage asbestos in and around the home.

Facts to keep in mind

  • Homes built or renovated before 1987 have a high potential to contain asbestos materials (this may include the roof)
  • If an offer seems too good to be true – it probably is.
  • Before engaging contractors to do work that may involve asbestos, or if you are not sure if they are licensed, contact WorkCover NSW on 131 050. Also visit www.asbestosawareness.com.au for more information about understanding asbestos, its dangers and safe disposal.

ENDS

Media enquiries: Mark Bransdon, Communications and Marketing Officer
Phone: 9725 0166
Email: fcccommunications@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au