The importation of products containing asbestos is illegal, yet it is a more common occurrence in Australia than you would think as authorities discovered earlier this year. As a worker, you may find that you are able to make an asbestos claim against a company that didn’t take proper precautions in ensuring that you were not exposed to products containing the deadly and illegal mineral.
Asbestos is being imported from China
Earlier this year, ABC News reported that asbestos-tainted concrete fibre sheeting was found in 64 construction sites in Australia and are suspected to have come from importation of Chinese products. The discovery of asbestos in these sites could be just the “tip of the iceberg” of a widespread asbestos contamination, according Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency CEO Peter Tighe.
Tighe says that he is concerned about the number of workers that may have been handling materials with asbestos.
So far, state workplace safety authorities are investigating eight sites in Victoria, 11 in South Australia, 14 in Queensland and 17 in New South Wales.
The New South Wales Government wrote in a report entitled “How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace” that the importation of the substance was banned the 31st of December, 2004 under the Customs PI Regulations.
For good measure, the legislation also requires that, if materials are being imported from countries like China where asbestos is not banned yet, there should be a quality assurance system to investigate the products and ensure that they do not contain asbestos before being brought into the workplace.
However, as this case shows, the laws have not been effective as the dangerous substance is still illegally creeping into the country through places like China.
Although these imported products are certified as “asbestos free,” authorities have tested and found that some of them are indeed contaminated by white asbestos.
Make a claim
At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we have lawyers with 35 years of experience of dealing with clients who are in need of compensation after being infected with asbestos.
Our team of specialist doctors are experts when it comes to diagnosing asbestos caused diseases like mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis lung disease and more. Some asbestos diseases worsen quickly, so GMP has developed a procedure of getting our experts to consult with you within 48 hours of your first telephone call and at your home for your comfort.
If you think if you have been exposed to this substance, you can call us free of charge at 1800 004 878.