Asbestos building products still entering Australia

The federal government’s anti-asbestos agency has told a senate inquiry that there was no guarantee all buildings constructed after 2003 were free of the substance.

The ABC reports that the inquiry into non-conforming building products was told imports containing asbestos weren’t limited to the building industry.

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency said most of the offending goods had been imported from Asia.

According to The Australian there have been only two prosecutions since 2008: a mining company importing gaskets from Vietnam and another business importing chrysotile asbestos in machinery out of China.

"There has also been instances which … [are] outside this Senate inquiry that things like motor vehicle parts and small machinery have had asbestos components despite the fact they've been labelled by the manufacturer that they're asbestos free," the ABC reports ASEA chairman Geoff Fary as saying.

"In some parts of the world, including parts of the United States, something which is less than one per cent asbestos by volume is labelled asbestos free."

The inquiry was also told that there’s no guarantee that all buildings constructed since 2003 – the year in which imports of the substance were banned – were free of asbestos.

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