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DIY renovators warned about digging up hidden asbestos

A lawyer who represented a man who won a $3 million payout from the maker of asbestos James Hardie has said that tv shows on home improvement may be putting lives at risk from people digging up the dangerous material.

There have been numerous cases of people becoming seriously ill from asbestos exposure after performing their own home renovation work. Many people are simply unaware there is any asbestos for them to worry about or mishandle it when they do dig it up, spreading particles in the air for them to inhale.

The lawyer, Annie Hoffman, expressed concern that TV shows like The Block encouraged people to perform fast home renovations. Ms Hoffman says that people emulating these shows may be putting themselves and their families at risk of asbestos poisoning.

She has also called on James Hardie to pay for a mass-media campaign to warn people about the dangers of their product and that it is still hidden in many homes. She says that the company has never considered running any kind of campaign to raise awareness.

Companies like Bunnings have made efforts to warn customers about asbestos when pursuing their home renovation projects, with November being ‘asbestos awareness month’.