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Don't mess with asbestos in flood clean-up

Queensland residents and volunteers have again been warned about the dangers posed by asbestos during the flood clean-up.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) and the Queensland Asbestos Related Diseases Support Society (QARDSS) today urged particular care when cleaning buildings built before 1990, which were likely to include asbestos sheeting and other asbestos-containing materials.

They said asbestos-containing materials pose no threat when in good condition, painted or sealed, but become dangerous when broken, removed, handled or stored by the unwary.

Another foreseeable problem is that damaged sheeting removed from flood-affected buildings may be thrown onto the rubbish piles currently mounting up on footpaths all over Queensland.

They warned it was best to err on the side of caution by assuming asbestos was present and by wearing protective gear, keeping the material damp and handling it with care, as fibres could be released into the air by breaking, sawing or drilling.

No matter where you live, if you have any doubts or questions, you should contact your local council about how it can help dispose of suspect materials.

For further information, go to www.worksafe.qld.gov.au, www.asbestos-disease.com.au, or call 1300 369 915.

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Last reviewed
20 January 2011
Last updated
5 November 2015
 
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