Face mask shortage

17 March 2020


As the world grapples with the current COVID-19 pandemic, we understand many people are still trying to get on with life and approach the crisis with a “business as usual” attitude.  And for some, that may mean continuing to complete renovations or indeed utilising time off to get jobs done around the house.  That doesn’t even begin to cover the unfathomable task facing many people who suffered the loss or damage to their homes in the recent bushfire crisis for whom a big clean up continues. So while you are keeping you and your family safe from the threat of COVID-19 exposure, don’t be complacent when it comes to asbestos exposure while home renovating or cleaning up building debris.  Asbestos fibres can be inhaled and ingested so it is vital that adequate measures are taken to minimise any possible exposure including wearing appropriate breathing masks, clothing and taking the necessary safety measures – speak to your local Council for guidance or visit www.asea.gov.au for information on handling asbestos and how to obtain a licenced contractor to help. 

Remember, if you aren’t sure what you should be doing in relation to asbestos then chances are it’s a job for the experts – don’t take a “she’ll be right” or “near enough is good enough” approach or you may be putting yourself, your family and your community at risk.

If you decide to handle the materials yourself and/or you can’t afford a professional asbestos removalist, we encourage you to pause and ensure you have the right face mask for the job – the respirator needs to be able to remove particulate and the linked article gives some guidance on this.  There is currently a shortage of appropriate face masks available as a consequence of masks being diverted to medical staff and health workers at the front line of the current medical emergency.  Not all masks are the same and there are very stringent measures you must take when handling asbestos to make sure you aren’t inhaling or ingesting asbestos.  If you can’t get the correct mask do the right thing and leave it to the experts.  It’s not worth the risk!

Face Mask Shortage – Renovating during the COVID-19 chaos
Link to article: https://www.miragenews.com/availability-of-disposable-respirators-during-covid-19-pandemic/