RENOVATORS of holiday houses and beach boxes on the Mornington Peninsula need to be aware not to disturb dangerous asbestos particles in the process.
They should engage a professional to properly assess the risks.
Gordon Legal senior associate Tess Dickie said most structures built before 1987 contained asbestos – especially holiday shacks and beach boxes. The substance was used in bathrooms and kitchens, laundries, meter boxes, eaves and under cladding, tiles and linoleum flooring and in sheds, fences and chicken coops.
“Any amount of asbestos is dangerous and, while it won’t always cause asbestos-related conditions, even brief exposure could result in mesothelioma and cancer,” Ms Dickie said.
“Even small jobs that could potentially disturb asbestos fibres – such as drilling, cutting or sanding – should be assessed by a professional. Contact a licensed contractor ahead of beginning any renovations, no matter how preliminary they may be.”
The danger is amplified by exposure to coastal weather conditions which accelerate the erosion of old facades. “In the case of beach boxes, it is more often than not the responsibility of the owner to ensure this is rectified,” Ms Dickie said.
First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 8 December 2020