The AMWU has been at the forefront of campaigning against Asbestos use in Australia, and around the world.
In Australia today, thousands are still exposed annually at work, in their homes and also in public buildings.
We continue the fight, and continue to campaign to hold James Hardie to account for the suffering they have inflicted on countless Australian families.
All forms of asbestos have been banned for use in Australia since 2003, but Australians are still at risk of contracting mesothelioma (a form of lung cancer) and asbestos-related diseases. This often occurs in work like the demolition of buildings, or doing maintenance work in buildings and fittings that still have asbestos present.
Sadly, people are still exposed in their homes, such as when doing home maintenance, repairs or renovations.
Many homes and public buildings in Australia still contain asbestos, and there are still high risks of exposure. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related conditions.
Unfortunately, the use of NEW asbestos continues internationally, particularly in the developing world.
Approximately one third of all homes built in Australia contain asbestos products.
Any Australian can be exposed to asbestos, in a variety of ways:
- Through renovations on older homes, including sheds, fences and other outdoor structures (pre-1990s homes);
- Uncontrolled exposure during natural disaster, including fire and flood;
- At worksites - both public and private spaces;
- Contact with asbestos fibres from someone else who has been exposed.
Our union campaigns both in Australia and internationally to stop the use of asbestos. There is no safe usage, and the risk will remain while it is still an accepted building material.
Do you have questions about asbestos exposure or asbestos in your home?
You can contact the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency: https://asbestossafety.gov.au/