Australian construction industry still not clear of asbestos

Date: Feb 24, 2016

Despite the substance’s ban decades ago, asbestos is a still a problem for many construction professionals and home and business owners across the country. Originally, people theorised that asbestos use was limited to buildings of a certain vintage, a fact people hoped would make it easier to be aware of its presence.

The reason for the significant amount of attention paid to removing or avoiding asbestos is due to the range of serious diseases associated with inhaling the deadly fibres. One such example, Mesothelioma, is extremely common for people who have suffered long-term exposure to asbestos.

Although there are many efforts to get to the bottom of asbestos use throughout Australia, recent reports found that new examples are still cropping up.

Imported building products found to harbour asbestos

Speaking with The Australia, CEO of the Asbest­os Safety and Eradication Agency Peter Tighe revealed that not only are people still battling the original influx of asbestos, new examples are still being imported.

Mr Tighe claims that there could be as many as 50 construction sites across Australian that are contaminated by the substance. The root of the problem lies in the fact that certain building products are brought into Australia under the guise of being compliant, before people discover they’re made with asbestos.

According to Mr Tighe, the fact that these products are often significantly cheaper than the alternatives means the contamination is quickly spreading as more tradespeople and home renovators unwittingly purchase low-cost but asbestos tainted products.

“The material is significantly cheaper than what you get in Australia so you’ve got massive commercial construction enterprises down to home renovators all importin­g this stuff directly from China,” he explained.

“People all across the country assume it’s safe then penetrate it, drill it and cut it, releasing asbestos fibres.”

Not just an Australian problem

A documentary produced by Vice found that the problem of continued asbestos use is not just limited to the Australian construction market. In its feature on the continued production of the substance, the publication found that Asbet, a town in Russia, is home to the world’s biggest asbestos mine, despite the associated dangers.

The visit to this facility is contrasted with a town in the US where hundreds of people have already succumbed to Mesothelioma and a range of associated dust diseases.

If you’ve got a case related to dust diseases, contact the lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.