Tasmanians living in public housing are being encouraged to be asbestos aware, as part of a new Housing Tasmania campaign.
As part of Asbestos Awareness Week, Housing Tasmania has written to all public housing tenants to educate them about what to do if they suspect a change in the condition of their home.
The letter contains information on where asbestos can be found.
Asbestos-containing materials are often found outside the house where exposure to weather can cause damage.
Tenants should familiarise themselves with the condition of their homes and contact Housing Tasmania immediately if they notice any changes.
Housing Tasmania has also introduced awareness information when signing leases with new tenants and when conducting scheduled condition-of-property inspections with current tenants.
Ensuring tenants are aware of these issues is part of normal business while Housing Tasmania works to remove all asbestos from these homes over time.
The biggest risk of asbestos exposure within the home is during building works.
Sanding and drilling can expose people to asbestos, so tenants should talk to Housing Tasmania before doing any work on their rental home.
Asbestos is often found in houses built before 2003 and most public housing was built before then.
It is important to remember that asbestos is not a risk if it is undamaged and undisturbed, and it does not need to be removed unless it is damaged.
Housing Tasmania has already begun a strategy to safely and sensibly remove damaged asbestos-containing materials from public housing and will continue to prioritise removal of damaged asbestos.
Public housing tenants with questions, or concerns they may have damaged asbestos at home should call Housing Tasmania on 1300 665 663.
For more information visit the Workplace Standards website http://www.asbestos.tas.gov.au/
29 November 2012