Anti-asbestos campaigners are urging the Nine Network to pull a TV ad for the new series of The Block, claiming it encourages dangerous home renovations.
The ad promoting The Block Triple Threat shows contestants smashing up a house with power tools and getting covered with dust.
The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia has called on Nine to cancel the promo.
“I was left absolutely speechless, with contestants shown falling through a ceiling, bringing clouds of dust and debris onto unsuspecting home owners, as power tools are shown tearing through the units,” the foundation’s president Barry Robson says.
“This is what happens when TV producers and advertisers, with no understanding of the very real dangers of asbestos, put the promotion of their product above the safety of their viewers.”
A Nine Network spokesman says there are asbestos warnings on the show’s website and a thorough hazardous materials audit is conducted on any property to be renovated before any work begins.
“We have included scenes previously in the show which explain that this audit is done for every season of The Block and we have also broadcast warnings to home renovators to conduct their own asbestos checks prior to commencing works on their homes,” he says.
The Block’s host Scott Cam is an ambassador for Asbestos Awareness Week and the show has shown an asbestos awareness trailer during open for inspections, the spokesman said.
Every year around 1,000 Australians die from asbestos diseases, with people exposed during home renovations the fastest growing group, the foundation says.