Thornlie resident shocked to find asbestos in broken fence

Thornlie resident shocked to find asbestos in broken fence

THORNLIE resident Norm Thompson could not believe it when he was told his fence had asbestos in it.

When the 70-year-old got a quote for the removal of the fence after a tree fell on it , two fencing removal companies told him there was asbestos in the fence.

One quote also listed an extra $1360 charge to remove the asbestos from his fence as it is dangerous to remove and those working on it must wear protective gear.

Mr Thompson said the home was built in 1985 and he purchased it in 1987 and never thought the fence would have asbestos in it.

“This must be happening at homes all over the suburbs,” he said.

He called the council to remove the asbestos from the fence.

City of Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said it was important to note that local government approval was generally not required for dividing fences.

“The City does not have a policy regarding asbestos as issues relating to asbestos are governed by the State Government’s Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992,” he said.

Mr Thompson said he wanted to warn people because he believed there would be more residents that may not realise they have asbestos in their fences.

Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia president Robert Vojakovic said one way around the issue was to spray paint fences.

“If you buy paint and spray it on the fence it can prevent the release of the fibres,” he said.

“A lot of houses still have it.”

Mr Thompson said he did not worry about personally getting a sickness from the asbestos as turns 71 next month.

He said he was more worried about children.

For more information, people can contact the society on 1800 646 690 or www.asbestosdiseases.org.au.

Facts box –

Generally, if your house was built before the mid-1980s it is highly likely that it has asbestos-containing products; between the mid-1980s and 1990 it is likely that it has asbestos containing products; after 1990 it is unlikely that it has asbestos-containing products.

Source: Department of Health.

The vast majority of asbestos-containing products used in houses were bonded asbestos cement materials, including roofing, shingles and siding, exterior and interior wall cladding, eaves, fencing, thermal boards around fireplaces and water or flue pipes.

Some friable asbestos products may also be found in houses, spray-on insulation or soundproofing low-density asbestos fibre board, insulation on hot-water pipes, domestic heaters and stoves (e.g. lagging), backing material on floor tiles and vinyl flooring, textured paints, decorative ceiling coatings and heat-resistant fabrics.

Source: Department of Health.