March 25, 2019

Asbestos clean-up bill for two ships could top €1m

Industry insiders have estimated it could end up costing the taxpayer around €1m to remove asbestos from two Naval Service vessels which were supposed to be free of the potentially lethal substance.

Work to remove asbestos started on sister ships LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla on May 28, despite a consultancy firm giving them the all-clear 14 years ago.

The firm has since closed, which means it is highly unlikely the clean-up costs can be recouped. Ultimately the bill will fall to the taxpayer.

The Defence Forces confirmed that work on removing asbestos from the LÉ Ciara is now complete. It is expected the ship will become operational in the coming weeks. The clean-up on LÉ Orla is still ongoing.

The Defence Forces press office said it estimated that this will be completed sometime in the next four months.

The press office said it would not be releasing the costs of the clean-up while the work is ongoing.

However, industry sources say the bill could be anything up to €14,000 a week, especially as asbestos has to be exported to Germany as there are no suitable sites here capable of disposing of it safely.

If these asbestos clean-up costs are accurate, it means the final bill could be around €1m.

The LÉ Aoife was found to have asbestos in a gasket in an engine and the substance was also detected in LÉ Eithne’s forward pump room.

Both ships will undergo a further examination as part of a fleet-wide asbestos survey ordered by Naval Service senior officers.

It is unlikely that asbestos will be found onboard the fleet’s newer ships as the substance was widely used in the 1980s in the ship- building industry, especially in engine rooms to insulate pipes and boilers.

At the time, it was considered the best and most cost-effective insulating material and was also fire-resistant.

Meanwhile, Siptu industrial organiser Jason Palmer said his members — civilian workers at the Naval base — who were exposed to asbestos on the vessels have all had medical screening.

This has also been completed for all Naval Service personnel who were potentially in contact with the substance.

He said the Department of Defence had confirmed it will put a plan in place to ensure that ongoing screening will take place for them, as it can take up to 40 years for asbestos symptoms to manifest themselves.

Mr Palmer said asbestos-awareness training had been completed by union members on the base and some have already started a course on the safe removal of the substance.

“Discussions are ongoing about getting the remainder trained in that,” Mr Palmer said.

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Asbestos clean-up bill for two ships could top €1m

Work safety watchdog rejects union's asbestos claims

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“My belief is we have a competent group of removalists at the moment, there have been issues from time to time, but it’s not like there’s some widespread deficiency in the skill set,” Mr McCabe said.

“It won’t be like the pink batts [home insulation rollout] work, because pretty much everyone can do that work, where the drive was to get the money out the door for economic stimulus.

“The stress here is to get the money to owners, not removalists.”

CFMEU ACT branch secretary Dean Hall said it was critical the ACT government scrutinised applicants and spent what was needed to ensure the highest standard of removalist work.

“Everyone in the industry knows that there are some very problematic individuals and companies in the industry,” Mr Hall said.

“If it goes to an aggressive competitive tender process it’s going to serve the cowboys.”

Mr Hall said he was aware of removalists on a number of sites in recent years who had been seen, and in at least one case photographed, in asbestos-related exclusion zones without wearing the correct respiratory gear.

He also raised concerns about the alleged failure of some removalists to decontaminate before eating or having a cigarette.

Mr McCabe said WorkSafe had taken action in relation to a 2012 incident captured in CFMEU photographs, but there were only a small number of cases where removalists were proven to have the done the wrong thing.

He said recently announced restrictions and direct oversight of removalists by WorkSafe would ensure wider scrutiny.

Fyshwick asbestos assessor Peter Hengst said he had found no problems with ACT removalists and did not know of any local “cowboys”.

“Because I’m an assessor I often do inspections for other companies, and I find their standards pretty good,” Mr Hengst said.

Now working for Ozbestos, he began as an asbestos removalist in 1985 and became an assessor in 2007.

He said he welcomed moves to strengthen Worksafe oversight, after now-stark Fluffy memories from his past days as an electrician.

“I remember crawling through roofs thinking this [stuff] is brilliant, it’s not itchy.”

There were 70 Class A asbestos removalist licences this week, the only ACT licence which allows the removal of friable asbestos, including that used as loose-fill insulation, but Mr McCabe said the number of removalists who operated in Canberra was “barely in the double figures”.

He said he would be surprised if there were 20-30 used across the clean-up and demolition of the 1021 Mr Fluffy homes across the next five years.

“We’ll have a very close look at anyone we’re not familiar with,” he said.

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Work safety watchdog rejects union's asbestos claims

Research and Markets: European Asbestos Market Report 2014-2020


Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the “EU: Asbestos – Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020” report to their offering.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of the EU Market of Asbestos. It presents the latest data of the market size and volume, domestic production, exports and imports, price dynamics and turnover in the industry. The report shows the sales data, allowing you to identify the key drivers and restraints. You can find here a strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market. Forecasts illustrate how the market will be transformed in the medium term. Profiles of the leading companies and brands are also included.

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Research and Markets: European Asbestos Market Report 2014-2020

Enhanced regulations for work involving asbestos to be introduced

SINGAPORE: The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council and the Ministry of Manpower have announced enhanced regulations for work involving asbestos, a substance that could potentially cause lung cancer.

Many older buildings, especially those built before 1990, may have asbestos-containing materials. These include corrugated roofs, ceiling boards and partition walls.

The new WSH (Asbestos) Regulations will replace the existing Factories (Asbestos) Regulations and take effect from May 1.

The new regulations come after three rounds of public consultations conducted last year.

Under the new regulations, an expert must be appointed to ascertain if asbestos-containing materials are present before starting demolition or renovation works on buildings built before 1 January 1991.

If asbestos is present, it must be removed before demolition can commence. The removal can only be carried out by an approved asbestos removal contractor, under proper supervision.

“This will ensure that workers carry out these work activities under proper management and protection. It will also prevent the release of asbestos fibres into the air which can affect the public,” said Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Dr Amy Khor.

To help the industry comply with the regulations, a new set of WSH guidelines on the management and removal of asbestos has been developed to guide contractors and building owners on the proper management of asbestos-containing materials.

In addition, a video has been produced with the aim of educating stakeholders on the health effects of asbestos exposure. The video will illustrate examples of where asbestos can be found and measures to apply in the management and removal process. 

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Enhanced regulations for work involving asbestos to be introduced

Asbestos scandal: Telstra points at contractors

TELSTRA says its contractors should have complied with workplace safety laws, as the investigation continues into the improper handling and dumping of asbestos dug up during remediation of pits and ducts.

The telecommunications giant said it required its contractors to appropriately train and supervise workers and to conduct appropriate audits of their processes.

Earlier this week The Courier spoke with workers from Telstra sub-contractor Davcom who said they were told to use protective suits while digging up asbestos sparingly because of the cost.

They also told of using crowbars to break apart asbestos so it would fit into bags for disposal.

The Courier also revealed a skip bin full of asbestos bags which had been left behind a Sebastopol car yard for weeks by Davcom workers.

Telstra spokesman James Howe said the company had strict guidelines in place for asbestos removal which required contractors to wear appropriate protective clothing.

He said contractors must take appropriate safety measures consistent with Asbestos Management and Removal Codes of Practice.

“Fundamentally, the safe and proper handling of asbestos is an absolute and not-negotiable priority,” Mr Howe said.

Davcom operations manager Scott Davison yesterday said safety procedures were a high priority and that all Davcom contractors underwent safety inductions.

“In our industry it is imperative for organisations to adhere to industry-specific requirements which we adapted,” Mr Davison said.

Telstra contractor Visionstream, which sub-contracted Davcom to carry out work in the Ballarat area, says it takes the management of asbestos “very seriously”.

“We have specific requirements that our sub-contractors must follow, including training and compliance with regulations and we monitor this carefully,” said spokeswoman Louisa Graham.

There are around 1.5 million Telstra pits and ducts around the country, with about 20 per cent estimated to contain asbestos.

Telstra is remediating the pits and ducts to make way for fibre cabling as part of the National Broadband Network.

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Asbestos scandal: Telstra points at contractors

Research and Markets: Asbestos Market Review (2012-2016) – Thorough Study Covering both Global and Regional Markets


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tables and figures which give a true insight into the relevant national,
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– It aims to give a proper picture of the pertinent market, as well as
its trends, perspectives and opportunities.

– It covers the present situation, historical background and future
forecast of Asbestos market.

– Comprehensive data showing Asbestos production, consumption, trade
statistics and prices are provided (both nationwide and worldwide).

– Each country’s market overview covers the following: Asbestos
production in the country, major producers, Asbestos consumption in the
country market, Asbestos trade in the country, Asbestos prices.

– The report offers a 5 year outlook on the reviewed market, including
Asbestos market volume predictions and price trends.

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1.1. Asbestos in Global Industry

1.2. Asbestos Market Overview

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2.1. USA

2.2. Canada


3.1. Argentina

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3.3. Columbia


4.1. Russia

4.2. Kazakhstan


5.1. China

5.2. India


6.1. Zimbabwe

7. FUTURE OUTLOOK (2012-2016)

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Research and Markets

Laura Wood, Senior Manager

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Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716


Process and Materials


Research and Markets: Asbestos Market Review (2012-2016) – Thorough Study Covering both Global and Regional Markets

About Friable Asbestos




Asbestos is in the news everyday and this website will strive to present the most up-to-date news regarding the asbestos industry, whether it be litigation, new regulations or interpretations, removal technologies or health information. This website will be evolving, with new content being added often. As such, be sure to bookmark our site is visit back often. If you have content that you would like to submit for consideration of inclusion on this website, be sure to reach out to us through our contact form. Additionally, we’d appreciate any feedback that you would like to provide pertaining to this website. We are always striving to improve the site, while keeping it up-to-date and fresh.

Asbestos is a natural occurring mineral that has been utilized by man throughout history and actually became the number one construction material at one time, used more than wood, glass or metal. Asbestos, once referred to as the “miracle mineral” was used in clay pots more than 4,000 years ago. The Chinese used asbestos in gun powder. Caesar was buried in an asbestos cloth. Benjamin Franklin sold an asbestos purse to his British benefactor. These are just some of the interesting facts you’ll read about here at


Asbestos continues to be mined today and is still used in many products available for purchase in your local box store, although many people are not aware of that. You may be aware that exposure to asbestos can cause a variety of diseases, both malignant and benign. Malignant diseases are those that involve neoplasms, or cancer growths, that can metastasize, or spread to other organs or body systems. Benign diseases are those that are not cancerous. “Benign” in this sense certainly does not mean harmless, as these conditions can be life-threatening themselves. Mesotheleoma and Asbestosis are the more well known asbestos-related diseases.

The first diagnosis of mesothelioma that was conclusively linked to asbestos exposure was made in 1964, and the number of mesothelioma cases is expected to peak worldwide around 2020. More than 50 percent of patients can expect to be involved with emerging clinical trials. As of 2011, there have been over 175 clinical trials conducted related to mesothelioma. Unfortunately, other asbestiform minerals such as erionite have also been linked to mesothelioma, although many of these materials are not regulated. In the Turkish village of Tuzkoy, over half of the villagers have died of respiratory malfunctions, including mesothelioma. As you will see, this website provides an abundance of information on mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.

Asbestos can be found in many buildings today, although as discussed herein, if it is not disturbed and is managed appropriately, exposure is unlikely. When asbestos containing materials are disturbed, the disturbance typically cause a fiber release episode, which is the release of tiny microscopic asbestos fibers, which become airborne and are easily inhaled. This website provides an abundance of information on how to mange asbestos containing materials in place, to prevent disturbance and potential exposure issues. Here you will also find detailed information on removal methods and technologies, estimated removal costs and various recommendations pertaining to asbestos situations and issues. This website also provides links to other important websites pertaining to asbestos, to insure that you have all the facts.

As you are likely aware, asbestos has been regulated for many years. As a result, there are a number of regulations that have been developed over time on a local, state and federal level. Some of these regulations overlap and is some cases they may even contradict each other. A significant amount of work has been put into creating an up-to-date regulations directory, which can be found here. This has become a popular bookmark for many industry professionals and you can see why. At, we also provide discussions regarding regulation interpretations and real life situations.

While I’ve been in the asbestos consulting business for over twenty years, I still learn something new about asbestos every day. My point is, there is a real lot of information about asbestos out there, although you sometimes need to look long and hard to find it. has been created to ease this dilemma and we hope you agree that we have. Thanks for visiting and come back again soon!