UnionsWA and the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia have today called for a greater effort to prevent risks associated with asbestos exposure associated with natural disasters.
Melita Markey on behalf of the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia said:
“This is a worrying time for the many in Kalbarri, Northhampton and the Gascoyne region.
“It is heart-breaking to have to add to those worries legitimate concerns about exposure to asbestos.
“There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos and while the danger should not be exaggerated, the risk of exposure should not be minimised or downplayed.
”Disaster need not be compounded by disease.”
Owen Whittle, Acting Secretary UnionsWA said:
“To ensure that residents, visitors, volunteers and our recovery workforce are protected appropriate protective clothing and equipment can and should be part our emergency response.
“Natural disasters are inevitable and beyond control, but how we prepare and plan to moderate their impact is within our means.
“This crisis highlights the need for proactive measures to be taken to systematically remove and safely replace asbestos to reduce risks.
“A good place to begin that roll out is with our public buildings, such as school and other community facilities.”