A spike in DIY renovations thanks to the popularity of TV shows may put more Australians at risk of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma victims and their relatives believe that such home renovation shows ought to come with warnings to minimize improper handling or removal of asbestos.

Proper Awareness Crucial to Asbestos Management

According to Rod Smith of the Bernie Banton Foundation, awareness is important to mitigation of asbestos exposure, especially cases resulting from improper asbestos removal. However, education must ultimately extend beyond Asbestos Awareness Week. Smith is a member of the Bernie Banton Foundation, which supports families of mesothelioma victims (including Smith’s late wife Julie).

He expressed concern over the growing popularity of “deadly” TV shows about DIY home renovation. Such shows may inspire more people to perform their own renovation jobs. This can ultimately spark a wave of new mesothelioma cases, since homeowners often lack experience in asbestos handling or removal. “If we had our way,” says Smith, “they would run warning banners at the bottom and during the program.”

Les Morris, a former carpenter who now suffers from mesothelioma, agreed with Smith’s sentiments. “They have signs for everything else, but not this,” he commented. “This is a killer.”

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