We see it as our role – a primal instinct that stays with us even when our kids are grown, have left home and raising their own families. We protect them from the dangers we know. But what about the dangers we don’t know? How do we protect our kids from dangers that may lie hidden in our homes that can one day could cause life-threatening diseases that are preventable?
Most of us have heard the word, “asbestos”. And while some may think of it as a thing of the past – a horrid scar in Australian history that caused the deaths of the miners who unearthed it, wharfies who loaded it onto ships, factory workers who made household products out of it– today the greatest health threat is to renovators and tradies.
Asbestos is not a thing of the past. It remains among us, and while it may lie hidden in homes in places we least expect, if we’re not careful asbestos can still pose life-threatening risks to renovators and our kids.
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There’s no denying that most Australians have a love affair with renovating. And why wouldn’t we? It’s fun, profitable and an adventure that often Aussie families enjoy doing together. It’s a team effort. Mums and dads do the tool work while the kids play around them, sweeping up the floors and picking up the pieces. It’s a nice way to spend family time but it’s frightening to think that parents could unknowingly be playing a deadly game of “renovation roulette” and putting their lives and the lives of their kids at risk.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking for any parent than to lose a child particularly from a preventable disease.
The tragic story of young Adam Sager who was a toddler when his parents sanded the walls of their family home, not knowing it was asbestos or the health risks, sends a disturbing and vitally important message to every parent.
The son of Julie and Don Sager, Adam was just 24 when he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma caused from inhaling asbestos fibres when he played in the dust from the sanded walls. Six months after he was diagnosed, tragically Adam lost his battle with the disease when he was only 25 years old. Back then, Julie and Don didn’t know the risks of disturbing asbestos. Today we do know and as parents, we owe it to our kids to protect them from something that has the potential to take their lives.