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Asbestos in the News

Find out more about asbestos and how it's affecting Australia today.

Mesothelioma cases on the rise

A SHARP rise in the number of new cases of mesothelioma has authorities concerned about people choosing to remove asbestos themselves in order to cut costs. New cases have risen from 17 each year in the early 1980s to 169 new cases in 2012. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of the disease and less than half of all people diagnosed will survive more than a year.

The Cancer Council has launched a new resource to help Queenslanders diagnosed with mesothelioma to access information about diagnosis, treatment and support services. Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said Understanding Pleural Mesothelioma was a new, vital guide for cancer patients, their family and friends.

Mesothelioma can take between 20 and 60 years to develop after exposure. Miners and industry workers are most at risk, however the new wave of exposure is emerging among people affected at home, and especially among DIY renovators.


Imported Crayons Test Positive for Asbestos

asbestos crayonsYou might want to check our children's crayons because crayons imported from China have recently tested positive for asbestos.

Among the crayons affect are Dora the Explorer, Peppa Pig, Frozen, Mickey Mouse, and the list goes on.

Officeworks quickly pulled all crayons from their shelves after finding out about the Chinese crayons testing positive.

Apparently the asbestos in the crayons is in the wax and doesn't pose a great danger if the crayons are used as designed, but parents are urged to exercise caution with letting their kids use these products.


Asbestos dumped on cane farm "was a disgraceful act"

COUNCIL is seeking public assistance to help nab those responsible for illegally dumping a large load of asbestos sheeting near a cane farm.

The illegal dumping of about 1000kg of building waste was a disgraceful act, said Waste, Health and Regulatory Services portfolio councillor Laurence Bonaventura.

"This is a prime example of really poor behaviour from those responsible and it is clear by their actions they were deliberately trying to avoid the correct disposal methods,'' Cr Bonaventura said.


Demolition Of Mr Fluffy Homes To Begin

In the coming weeks Canberra will see the mass demolition of more than 1,000 homes contaminated with asbestos.

The homes earmarked for destruction were built with Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation.

The first of the homes to be demolished will be the subjects of a pilot study in asbestos demolition under highly controlled conditions.

Read more…

Asbestos Scare For Collie Resident

After six months living in a recently renovated home in Collie, Thomas Cleary was surprised to find he’d been exposed to asbestos.

Not only was asbestos used in the building of the home, but after the recent renovations broken and exposed asbestos was left under the house.

"It's just so upsetting - we've been breathing that stuff in for nearly six months," Mr Cleary said.

"They had simply cut the asbestos, and disposed of it under the house."

Read more…

36 Year Old Kenbi Land Claim Held Up By $32m Clean-up Bill For Asbestos & Pollutants Hazard

Australia's oldest unresolved Aboriginal land rights claim is facing a huge asbestos problem which the Government says will cost almost $32 million to clean up.

A report by the Department of Finance submitted last month stated that buildings and their surrounding areas on the land are harbouring dangerous levels of asbestos, pesticides, heavy metals and other toxic pollutants, which "pose a significant risk to human health" and represent a "liability for the Commonwealth".

The area has also been used as a dump for decades, with building debris from Cyclone Tracy in 1974 being offloaded there.

Indigenous elder Tibby Quall, who lives near the Cox Peninsula, said he had never been told by the government or the Northern Land Council (NLC) that the land was polluted. Read more...

Asbestos Tests & Part Of Foreshore Closed In Victoria's Apollo Bay After 'Unfortunate Incident'

A 50-metre-square section of the Apollo Bay foreshore has been covered and cordoned off while authorities wait for the results of asbestos tests.

"The coast committee used some soil to level out a few humps and hollows on the foreshore and they discovered a few pieces of cement sheet or asbestos sheet," Mr Buchanan told 774 ABC Melbourne's Steve Martin.

The soil came from a council contractor who was "charged with disposing of the soil in a responsible manner". Read more...

The Latest On Mr Fluffy Asbestos Crisis

Cabinet papers have revealed the Federal Government was warned as far back as 1968 about the risks of loose-fill asbestos insulation, but did nothing to stop it being used in Canberra homes for a decade.

"No action was taken to ban the substance, although action was taken to control occupational exposure." Read more...

Mr Fluffy Demolition Plan

mr fluffy asbestos

In October 2014 the Federal Government agreed to lend the ACT Government $1 billion to buy back and demolish the affected properties.

Then chief minister Katy Gallagher said every affected house should be demolished.

"We can't leave a Mr Fluffy house standing in Canberra," she said.

"In 20 years time someone will be having to deal with this problem again, we need to get rid of it now."

The first demolition is expected to take place mid 2015. Read more...

Clean Up Continues In Storm-hit Brisbane

Broken or falling glass and loose asbestos loom as the biggest health hazards as the massive clean-up in the wake of the supercell storm continues in Brisbane.

Asbestos risk after Brisbane stormsA city-wide operation continued on Saturday to clear debris and repair damage, although residents of one street in the suburb of Fairfield have complained nothing is being done to remove large amounts of asbestos which has fallen on to the road.

Brougham Street resident Gavin Jacobi told that despite a report to council, the asbestos was still on the street on Saturday morning and he was concerned it would become a hazard as it dries out.

'With asbestos, if we breathe the stuff in, who knows what will happen 30 years down the road?' he said.

'There's so much traffic here, you can actually hear the crunching of it breaking up.'

Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk said asbestos was just one of many issues council workers needed to address in the wake of the storm, which lashed Brisbane with cyclonic winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall on Thursday, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Read more...

Dumped Asbestos In Qld Poses 'Low Risk'

The Ipswich City Council says large amounts of the deadly substance have been found just 200 metres off the Warrego Highway at Haigslea, along with about 80,000 dumped tyres.

Workplace Health and Safety officers have advised public health officials that the site poses a low risk for exposure. But efforts are underway at the site to further reduce that risk, the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service said. Read more...

Mr Fluffy Homeowners Fear For Possessions In Asbestos Clean-up

Mr Fluffy homeowners are confused about what possessions and furniture they will be allowed to keep if their home is demolished, with suggestions that some belongings will be treated as contaminated waste.

In its latest newsletter, the asbestos taskforce said it was not possible to give assurances that contents were not contaminated, and soft furnishings "should be disposed of as appropriate", using licensed asbestos removalists. Read more...

James Hardie Has ‘Moral Responsibility’ On Asbestos Shortfall

NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance has launched a campaign to pressure James Hardie Industries to meet an expected shortfall in compensation for its asbestos victims, saying he will not agree to commit taxpayers’ dollars to a bailout.

Signalling the start of what looms as another major battle over Hardie’s asbestos liabilities, the company yesterday indicated it would reject Mr Constance’s call, saying it would stick to the terms of a funding agreement but not put in more. Mr Constance’s office told The Australian that the government was not inclined to meet calls from the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund for the state and federal governments to increase their loan facility to the AICF by more than $100 million to fill the forecast gap. Read more...

All Asbestos Nearly Removed

Whyalla City Council says by about next week all asbestos should be removed from Bevan Crescent.

In late July, after a long running saga – Whyalla City Council obtained the land were Bevan Crescent Primary School once operated.

“At present we have been very happy with how things have been moving and they have been very efficient,” Mr Dearham said.

“This is not something you can play around with because asbestos removal is a tedious task.” Read more...

Principal Told To Resign Over Student's Exposure To Asbestos

The former principal of a Thornbury primary school, Chris Sexton, has "formally relinquished" his position at the school following a departmental investigation into the exposure of children to asbestos.

Mr Sexton was stood down from Wales Street Primary in February after two prep classes were potentially exposed to asbestos particles in dust in the carpet. The Age understands a departmental inquiry found Mr Sexton was negligent in his handling of the asbestos issue and he was told to resign from the school. Read more...

Serial Offender Fined $225,000 For Illegally Dumping Asbestos Waste

Dib Hanna asbestos dumper

Serial dumper Dib Hanna has been fined $225,000 for illegally dumping 90 tonnes of building waste including asbestos in Picnic Point, in Sydney's south west.

Mr Hanna forced his way through a fence around a vacant block of land and illegally dumped eight piles of building waste consisting of soil and pieces of terracotta piping, brick, concrete, tile, plastic and fragments of chrysotile and amosite asbestos. Each pile was about 10 tonnes in size.

He was caught in the act by a CCTV camera that happened to be installed on a neighbouring property. That afternoon he dumped another 10 tonnes of waste at a small public reserve owned by Bankstown City Council. Read more...