Curtin Uni app to help in fight against asbestos

Stock image.
Stock image.

CURTIN University researchers are aiming to map the prevalence of asbestos in homes across WA and help home renovators identify potentially deadly risks with a free new phone app.

Aimed at combating asbestos-related illnesses from do-it-yourself renovators, the app, called ACM Check, offers a step-by-step guide to assess the level of risk from asbestos products that may exist in homes.

The app was developed by PhD student Matthew Govorko, under the guidance of Associate Professor Alison Reid and Professor Lin Fritschi at Curtin University.

Prof Reid said even though asbestos cement products were phased out in WA between 1981 and 1987, it was estimated one-third of all Australian homes contained asbestos.

“Australia has the second highest mesothelioma death rate in the world, with about 600 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed across the country each year, so it is important we do all we can to ensure more people are not exposed to this deadly product,” she said.

Mr Govorko said the app had been designed as a screening tool to identify and assess the condition of potential asbestos-containing materials in and around the home.

“The app guides users through a series of questions, aided by photographs, to identify the potential level of risk in and around their homes before they start to renovate,” he said.

“Once they have completed the questionnaire through the app, they are offered a series of recommendations about what action to take based on the level of risk identified for each product.”

ACM Check can be downloaded for free from the Apple store and Google Play.

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