Asbestos warning on renovation shows

Unions have demanded TV renovation shows run viewer warnings about the dangers of asbestos or risk being reported to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The Daily Telegraph reports Unions NSW last night passed a unanimous resolution demanding on-air warnings on the dangers of asbestos in each program they broadcast.

Secretary Mark Lennon said, “The tragedy of asbestos-related illness has touched far too many families and these DIY home renovation shows need to ensure they’re not unwittingly adding to the problem.”

Renovation shows are prominent on television lately with The Block, The Renovators, Top Design and Grand Designs on commercial television while Pay TV has several shows in the property and DIY genre including Selling Houses Australia and Grand Designs Australia.

Yesterday TV Tonight reported that a Renovators contestant, Kelly, 41, had criticised working methodology and production techniques on Facebook:

“As an asthmatic I choose not to broom concrete & asbestos dust into my lungs when I renovate. I use a vacuum. In this environment there is no control over dust & an expectation that you will work in it & then remove your mask to talk on camera,” he said.

But Shine Australia co-executive producer Tim Cobbins told The Daily Telegraph: “All our houses were professionally assessed, all asbestos was clearly noted and The Renovators had to include licensed asbestos removal in their plans and costs. Our rules state clearly that no contestant is to handle or remove asbestos.”


  1. After Bernie Banton and his epic campaign anyone that does not realise the dangers of asbestos probably can’t be helped or doesn’t want to hear it.

    @ Someone, they have mentioned the asbestos on the show and they talk about it all serious like. They know it isn’t a joke.

  2. The point is not if it’s in the rules, it’s wehter you make it clear to the public that they should not touch the stuff… at all…. ever!

  3. Surely this would open the door to all sorts of disclaimers being forced on to viewers. Ultimately if these groups want to protect people they should just push for a total ban on all renovation shows. Oh that will fix the problem.

  4. Please. If there should be a warning anywhere, it needs to be on Today Tonight and A Current Affair.

    “These shows kill brain cells. Watch at your own risk. Those that do, well – you mustn’t have many in the first place, so it’s alright!”

  5. I would like to see warnings on these shows that attempting the same challenges at home may be infinitely more difficult and result in a much more disappointing outcome that you see on the telly.

  6. I remember seeing a promo for one of these shows in which some contestants were given a fibro house to renovate. Surely the program pointed out to viewers how dangerous this material is? If not, they bloody well should have.

    So many people are ignorant of the dangers of asbestos. Most people who live is asbestos houses either don’t know that their house is made of asbestos or don’t care. There are multiple occasions where I have seen people knock down asbestos cement sheeting with absolutely no protection. When I was a kid I breathed in a huge cloud of asbestos dust when a friend’s dad (a builder who should have known better) knocked down an old asbestos shed be cutting through the wooded support structure and letting the entire thing smash to the ground in a heap. Just a couple of years ago I witnessed a friend’s dad knocking through asbestos walls with a hammer as his teenage daughter helped him.

    It isn’t just renovations that can be dangerous – simply living in an asbestos house can be a real risk. I have seen plenty of fibro houses in my lifetime and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one where people haven’t got paintings nailed into the walls. I’ve also seen leaky asbestos ceilings that are sunken and cracking apart because of water damage. People say that fibro homes are safe as long as they’re in good condition, but virtually none of them are.

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