The WA Cancer Council has called for the establishment of a state-wide asbestos database to identify all buildings containing the harmful material.
The asbestos register is one of three cancer-related issues being pushed by the council in the lead-up to the state election.
The acting CEO Terry Slevin says almost 5,000 West Australians have died of asbestos-related illnesses.
He says creating a database would be costly and time-consuming but could also save lives.
“Whether they’re doing renovations or there’s demolition going on or in circumstances of disaster, it’s important people know where the asbestos is, and be confident of how to identify it, and to manage it safely,” he said.
Mr Slevin says mapping out exactly which buildings contain asbestos would be a good start.
“It’s very, very hard to manage any problem unless you know exactly what it is you’re dealing with,” he said.
“Identifying where the asbestos is, is a logical starting point.
“We don’t pretend it’s a simple task, we don’t pretend it can be done overnight but it’s a piece of work that needs to be done.”
The council is also calling on political parties to address critical shortages in the cancer workforce and a lack of funding for research.
The council will meet the major political parties next week.