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Senior asbestos lawyer, Joanne Wade form Slater and Gordon, says reports today that asbestos had been found in the Lodge in Canberra sends a clear message that anyone working on their home must be extremely careful of coming into contact with the deadly product.
Today's Daily Telegraph reports Prime Minister Gillard's move into the Lodge has been delayed as asbestos is removed from the basement.
"Of all the homes in Australia you would think the Lodge would be safe," Ms Wade says.
"But it just goes to show that asbestos products were used everywhere during the 50s 60s and 70s.
"It is reassuring to see that the Prime Minister and her staff have taken the issue extremely seriously and have gone about disposing of the asbestos in the right way."
Ms Wade said that while it is unlikely the Prime Minister will be "on the tools" as the asbestos is removed it is important that other renovators understand the dangers of asbestos in their homes.
"Third wave asbestos victims, as they're known, are generally home renovators who have performed work in houses or buildings containing asbestos or those who have come into contact with asbestos through washing work clothes.
"Asbestos-related illnesses can lay dormant for up to 50 years and the symptoms can be mistaken for asthma, chest infection or smoking-related illnesses," Ms Wade says.
Slater and Gordon is urging anyone who thinks they may have come in contact with asbestos to lodge their details on the firm's asbestos register. "By registering it means that if, in the future, someone is diagnosed with an asbestos related disease then we can move quickly to identify how and where they were exposed. This will help in building up the information and evidence needed if a compensation claim is made."
"The information on the register may also help others who develop an asbestos disease." Anyone who would like to register their information can phone Slater and Gordon on 1800 555 615 or contact our website www.slatergordon.com.au. Slater and Gordon conducted the first successful common law asbestos litigation case in 1984 and has acted for thousands of people exposed to and diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.
Established 75 years ago, Slater and Gordon has built a powerful reputation as a law firm which fights for the best outcomes for everyday Australians. Today, Slater and Gordon offers its broad range of legal services at more locations than any other law firm in the country, delivering affordable legal advice and justice to more Australians.