Despite that fact that the dangers of asbestos have been known for decades, there's a lack of awareness among homeowners, tradespeople and construction professionals when it comes to identifying and avoiding the substance. With a significant risk of developing mesothelioma for those that are exposed to the fibres over a long period of time, it's essential that people are not only aware of the risks, but know how to mitigate them as well.
A recent reported produced by ACIL Allen and published by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) found that people are not only struggling with these risks, many are illegally dumping the substance in public places. Naturally, this action makes it much more difficult for the relevant authorities to properly reduce the asbestos threat around the country and could lead to further compensation claims.
How much asbestos is dumped illegally?
The most worrying fact uncovered in the report is that these incidents of illegal dumping are neither isolated nor occur with only small quantities of asbestos. According to ASEA, the figure is more than 6,000 tonnes each year, an amount that present significant danger to people working or living in any area where it's improperly disposed of. The agency reported that cleaning up this quantity of asbestos would could as much as $11.2 million each year.
ASEA CEO Peter Tighe notes that the reason for such a high quantity of dumped materials is due to a combination of ignorance and a lack of willingness to go through the correct channels.
"There is a worrying lack of awareness of the risks of dealing with asbestos among DIY home renovators and tradespeople," Peter began. "Compounding that is the fact that correct disposal can be costly and inconvenient."
"In some cases, the fines and penalties for illegal dumping aren't sufficient enough to act as a deterrent."
To ensure members of the public are able to remain safe, the report provided a number of potential solutions that would make correct disposal a more favourable practice. These remedies included attempting to reduce the costs associated with asbestos disposal and further educating people on its potential dangers.
If these behaviours continue to be an issue, there will be even more reason for people across NSW to contact asbestos lawyers with regards to compensation concerns.