A new report from the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has found that complete removal of asbestos is the only safe way to manage the long-term risks of exposure to asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency CEO, Peter Tighe said that as asbestos deteriorates over the years, it could pose a hazard to health and the environment.
“Despite what many might think, asbestos doesn’t last forever and it deteriorates as it ages,” said Mr. Tighe.
“Over time, asbestos in bonded building materials can break down, and as long as it remains it will pose a hazard to human health and the environment.
“The only way to reduce asbestos-related diseases in Australia is by preventing exposure to this deadly substance, and that means completely removing it from our community .”
The Agency conducted an analysis of 11 asbestos building removal and seven contaminated land removal projects around the country and produced a report with a series of findings based on the learnings from these projects.
The asbestos building removal projects include the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne, the Amcor Botany Mill in Sydney, the Port Lincoln Hospital in South Australia, and a paper mill in Burnie, Tasmania.
The reports, Case studies on significant asbestos removal and the Case studies on asbestos land contamination provide best practice examples of effective and safe approaches to asbestos removal on large projects across Australia and lands contaminated with asbestos.
The reports highlight the importance of careful planning, flexibility, effective communication, innovative thinking and building a business case which goes beyond a simple cost-benefit analysis.
The case studies also found that businesses that chose to proactively remove asbestos reduce the risk to employees and contractors, remove the need for ongoing maintenance and asbestos audits, and increase the value and potential reuse options for the site.
“These case studies highlight the benefits for governments and organisations of being proactive about removing asbestos from the workplace and the general community,” said Mr. Tighe.
“Australia was one of the highest per-capita users of asbestos-containing materials for decades until the late 1980s and now has to deal with significant legacy issues associated with that use.”
The post Total removal of asbestos is the only safe way to reduce risks of exposure, study reveals appeared first on OHS News.