Work continues to eradicate asbestos from Australia

Monday, 29 January, 2018

Work continues to eradicate asbestos from Australia

The National Asbestos Profile has been launched by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

The 2016-17 Progress Report has also been released, providing a snapshot of Australia’s work towards an asbestos-free country.

In addition, it highlights a series of case studies from across Australia to show how the work supporting the National Strategic Plan is delivered.

“It is pleasing to see that each year we can demonstrate a positive trend towards the amount of work being undertaken to prevent asbestos-related disease in Australia,” said Diane Smith-Gander, chair of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.

“This reflects an increased focus on asbestos management and awareness that is achieved through improved coordination and reporting across all levels of government.

“The amount of asbestos waste disposed of during 2016–17 was higher than any previous year where data is available. This demonstrates that Australia’s asbestos legacy is an increasing waste stream challenge.”

The National Asbestos Profile follows the template developed by the World Health Organisation and International Labour Organisation and draws on best available research and data sources to provide a historical perspective on past exposures to asbestos, as well as information on the current management of asbestos in Australia.

The profile provides information on the consumption of the various types of asbestos, populations at risk from current and past exposures, the system for inspection and enforcement of exposure limits, as well as the social and economic burden of asbestos-related diseases.

“The National Asbestos Profile is the missing piece of the puzzle to help ensure our prevention strategies, messages and programs are on track to prevent ARDs and targeted to the highest level of risks,” said Peter Tighe, CEO at the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

“The economic impact of asbestos-related disease is growing with total health system costs related to asbestos-related disease estimated at $185 million in 2015–16 and the productivity losses were $321 million.

“We need to gain a better understanding of the amount and location of asbestos containing-material (ACM) in the residential sector.”

This document supports Australia’s National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness and over time will be used to measure progress made towards eliminating asbestos-related diseases in Australia.

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