Six years ago, John Jorritsma watched his brother die of mesothelioma, never thinking for a moment he would follow in his footsteps.
But the brothers' choice of careers - Mr Jorritsma as an electrician bringing him into contact with asbestos insulation, and his brother as a motor mechanic bringing him into contact with asbestos in brake dust - ultimately gave them cancer.
Now Mr Jorritsma wants to raise public awareness about the deadly substance for three reasons - his sons. One is an electrician, one a carpenter and one an engineer.
''I guess I never really took asbestos seriously,'' he said. ''Now I tell my boys not to go near the stuff. Just, please, do not go near it.''
Mr Jorritsma handed over his electrical business to his son five years ago. Late in 2012 he was mowing the lawn and could not finish due to breathlessness. His diagnosis of mesothelioma was followed by some months of chemotherapy, but earlier this year his oncologist gently suggested Mr Jorritsma take his wife of 43 years, Stephanie, on a holiday.
They booked seats on the Indian Pacific train to Perth and left last week. By Wednesday Mr Jorritsma was so ill he was admitted to hospital in Adelaide. Now the couple are back in Canberra and Mr Jorritsma is being assessed for palliative care.
He shakes his head when he thinks back to the hundreds of Canberra homes he worked on over his career - those that were affected with Mr Fluffy asbestos before it was removed and those that showed the telltale signs of being part of the Commonwealth's clean-up program.
''You can tell straight away the Mr Fluffy houses. Their roof spaces are clean and painted in white [PVA] paint,'' Mr Jorritsma said.
''I tell my son now to check the roof and if he sees the white paint to leave immediately.
''Don't touch the power points. Explain to the owner that you can't work on the house, that your father is dying from jobs like that.''
In the meantime, Mrs Jorritsma is haunted by thoughts of asbestos as she cares for her husband. She worries constantly about her sons being exposed as well as other families in the ACT facing the devastation of an asbestos-related disease. ''I feel we can't escape it; it is everywhere in Canberra.''
If Mr Jorritsma could have a final wish granted it would be to see the government provide protection to all tradespeople working on houses that may contain asbestos.
''Give them the list of Mr Fluffy houses. They are so dangerous. Tradespeople need to know what they are walking into.
''It disgusts me that the government is avoiding having a register of these houses.''
The job of caring for mesothelioma sufferers, such as Mr Jorritsma meanwhile, just gets busier for Canberra Hospital lung and mesothelioma cancer nurse care co-ordinators Judy Rafferty and Jennifer Northey.
According to Ms Rafferty, 10 Canberrans were diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012, with the diagnosis rate and death toll set to rise in coming years.
''It takes between 20 and 50 years for the disease to take hold, so given Canberra was largely built in the 1950s and '60s, the cases are just going to increase.''
Ms Rafferty said once a diagnosis was made it was important to give every patient hope.
''We need to give them hope that they can tackle a bucket list and that they can live for the time they have left, and not just exist.''