To be presented in an accepted mini-symposium.
Background Australia mined, and manufactured asbestos and imported asbestos products. More than 90% of this asbestos was used in the form of asbestos cement, which was used in the construction of private, public and residential properties, including fencing. Today there is a legacy of in situ asbestos throughout the built environment. The aim of this study was to identify possible sources of current and future asbestos exposure from the built environment.
Methods A review of the literature and telephone interviews with environmental health officers, asbestos removalists and assessors across the country, sought information about common exposure scenarios encountered.
Results Substantial amounts of asbestos remain in situ throughout the Australian built environment. Potential current and future sources of exposure risk to the public are from asbestos-cement containing roofs and fences, unsafe asbestos removal practices, illegal dumping and do-it-yourself home renovations.
Conclusion Consistent approaches in the regulation and enforcement of safe practice for the management and removal of asbestos is needed across all states, to ensure that in situ asbestos in the built environment is managed safely.
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