Asbestos found in Chinese imports destined for smelter upgrade

Image: Adelaide Now

Asbestos has been found in heat exchanger tubes, imported from China and to be used in the redevelopment of the Port Pirie smelter.

The ABC reports that the Australian Workers Union and Safework SA issued a prohibition notice for the area around the equipment at the $514 million project. The work is aimed at reducing lead emissions and enabling the smelter to process mixed metals.

An Australia-wide ban on products containing asbestos has been in place since the end of 2003.

However, there have been concerns raised, such as in a recent interim senate report, about the capacity to stop such products entering Australia.

The ABC notes that asbestos has turned up this year in imported Chinese products at projects including the Perth’s Children’s Hospital and a Brisbane residential building.