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Asbestos removal notice never filed on troubled former Beech-Nut plant demolition in Canajoharie

Gaythorne asbestos meeting

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Amanda Richards, general manager of Queensland’s Asbestos-Related Disease Society said northside residents were now worried after several “dumps” of old asbestos sheeting were located.

“Every day we are getting more phone calls from people who lived in the area or who worked at the factory,” Ms Richards told Radio 4BC.

Ms Richards said people told her organisation of different dumping grounds for broken-up asbestos from the factory.

“It seems to be spreading out wider and wider every time I get another phone call,” she said.

She said the concerns had emerged after newer residents move into the suburb and began to create gardens and renovate older homes.

“They are starting to find asbestos in their yard. It may even be that they may not even be able to dig because their house may be on an asbestos dump.”

She said residents were finding small pieces of older blue and brown asbestos in the garden.

However she in one area she went to look at near Kedron Brook Creek there was “sheet upon sheet upon sheet” of asbestos.

She said local residents told her that trucks from the factory would dump asbestos near a drain that runs into Kedron Brook.

Ms Richards said she had spoken with residents about “older dimpled fibro” sheeting made from asbestos.

Concerns were first raised last month about the former Wunderlich plant in suburban Gaythorne.

Residents told a law firm specialising in asbestos-related claims of seeing clouds of dust in streets around the factory which left windows and washing coated in white powder.

It has been reported that 20 cases of asbestos- related compensations claims with former residents have been finalised, though this could not be confirmed on Tuesday night.

Ms Richards said it was now a Queensland Government responsibility to repair.

“Now that we know that these dumps are around, we need the government to deal with it,” she said.

“And whether it is public land or private land, something has to be put in place to either seal the asbestos off, or dig it up and dump it properly in the mines site.”

A Queensland Health spokesperson could not be contacted on Tuesday night.

ABC Television reported that Queensland Health representatives at the public meeting told residents that because the asbestos being found was old, any risk was “low”.

However Fairfax Media understands a state government investigation will identify where asbestos is being found in Gaythorne and Mitchelton and the history of the Wunderlich factory site.

Original article – 

Gaythorne asbestos meeting

Quake victim not told about asbestos for three months

Quake victim not told about asbestos for three months

Published: 6:19AM Saturday February 15, 2014 Source: ONE News

A Christchurch homeowner is outraged that positive results from asbestos testing at his home were not passed on to him until months after they were available.

The slip-up has been slammed by health officials and has drawn an apology from those responsible.

Tom Davies has lived in his now “badly damaged” home through almost 13,000 earthquakes.

But until recently he was unaware that he did so with the threat of deadly asbestos right above him. He showed ONE News where his ceiling was drilled for asbestos tests.

EQR, who manage Earthquake Commission repairs, ordered testing in October last year. Documents show that the positive results were known on October 22 and the information was forwarded to EQR the following day.

“One would’ve thought that if there is asbestos in the property, or asbestos in the area, that they would tell you immediately,” Mr Davies says.

They didn’t, and in fact Mr Davies was not told until January 27, three months after the results were known.

“They should be getting in touch with them promptly and offering them options to move out,” says Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health.

In a statement, Fletchers EQR admit that there was an error in communication. They say it is their policy to contact homeowners as quickly as possible. However they deny that there was any heightened risk to occupants.

Experts are advising Mr Davies not to take any chances, until he’s sure his home is safe.

“My advice and our advice always to anyone living in a home where there is friable asbestos is get out as fast as you can,” says Dr Humphrey.

Mr Davies is not sure his insurance company would pay for him to move.

I am paying a mortgage on this house. Could I afford a rental on top of a mortgage? I’m not sure that I could just at the moment.”

The long-term future for the house is looking better with the asbestos scheduled to be removed.

The long term effect on Tom Davies’ health, however, remains to be seen.

    Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand


    Quake victim not told about asbestos for three months

    Court fines asbestos-removal company $15,000

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    Court fines asbestos-removal company $15,000

    Asbestos removed from school

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    Asbestos in quake-hit homes a 'health landmine'

    • Asbestos in quake-hit homes a 'health landmine'  (Source: Fair Go)

      Source: Fair Go

    Asbestos in the ceilings of more than 4000 earthquake-damaged homes will be left encased behind plasterboard – a situation Canterbury’s leading medical adviser says is a health “landmine”.

    The Earthquake Commission (EQC) estimates 43,000 Christchurch homes due for quake repairs could contain asbestos.

    In about 10 per cent of cases, asbestos in ceilings has been “encased” behind plasterboard instead of being removed.

    Homeowners will be told if this is done in their house, but there are concerns encasement may encourage them to hide the information.

    Canterbury District Health Board medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey says the practice is a serious health risk.

    “I personally feel encasement is not a good thing to do under any circumstances,” he said.

    “It disguises the fact that it is there.

    “We have an opportunity to make sure houses are safe. They should just take it all out.

    “It is a landmine sitting there which we won’t know about.”

    ‘Very unfortunate legacy’

    Asbestos was once used in construction and can be dangerous if it is disturbed.

    Health experts say it is most harmful if a person is exposed to high levels of the material for a long period.

    Prolonged, chronic exposure can cause various lung diseases, including cancer, but can take decades to develop.

    Humphrey said the encasement policy would leave “a very unfortunate legacy” for Christchurch, and he has told EQC of his concerns.

    “In the future, no-one will know asbestos is there. It is covered over. At the moment, you can look and see straight away it is there,” he said.

    “Ten years down the track, someone could decide to put downlights in a room. They drill into [the asbestos] and put themselves at risk.

    “You could have a little baby crawling around on a carpet for six months with asbestos in it. [Adverse health effects] would emerge only when they were in their 20s, and they will not know the source. It is a very unfortunate legacy.”

    EQC home repair programme manager Reid Stiven defended the policy.

    Asbestos ceilings were encased only when they were not damaged or deteriorating, Stiven said, and homeowners were informed if asbestos was found in a property and if it would be encased.

    “EQC always tests for the presence of asbestos where it is suspected,” he said.

    Humphrey said landlords would be reluctant to put asbestos on the official information record for their home, known as a land information memorandum (LIM).

    “If you have a severely damaged house that has asbestos in the ceiling and they encase that, do you think landlords will put that on the LIM? If they do, it devalues their house. Nobody will put asbestos on the LIM,” he said.

    Stiven said the encasement policy followed health guidelines.

    “Enclosing is a reliable method for ensuring asbestos is safely contained,” he said.

    “We are following the relevant national guidelines and the recommended practice of Canterbury Public Health. Asbestos is only a health risk where it is damaged or deteriorating, and in those cases it is removed.

    “All of our EQC field staff and Fletcher EQR supervisors have been given training in the correct identification of asbestos.

    “If they suspect asbestos is present, then a sample is taken and sent to testing. This is completed by an independent specialist.”

    The working group that developed the EQC asbestos policy was chaired by an independent health and safety consultant, he said.

      Copyright © 2013, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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      Asbestos in quake-hit homes a 'health landmine'