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 The history of asbestos in Australia.

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PostSubject: The history of asbestos in Australia.   Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:50 pm

Asbestos has a long and extensive history in Australian workplaces, particularly due to its use as a flame and water resistant insulation product.

Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world between the 1950s and 70s, according to A vast range of occupations and industries relied on this material, including construction, textiles and mining.

While mesothelioma cases began being reported as early as 1962 in Australia, the use of amosite (brown) asbestos continued into the late 1980s. Furthermore, some products that contained the dangerous fibres were still in use until December 2003.

In addition to the asbestos use across the country, parts of Australia were considered mining hubs for particular forms of the material. This includes crocidolite (blue) asbestos, which was mined extensively in the Western Australia town of Wittenoom from the 1930s until the mine was shut down in 1966.

Despite the fact nation-wide bans began to come in force in the 1970s, residents across Australia are still at risk of asbestos exposure due to remnants of its use in past decades. In particular, houses and buildings built prior to 1990 are likely to contain the deadly fibres in some form.

This fact commonly puts construction workers, renovators, plumbers and other tradespeople at risk of exposure and inhalation. Because of this, asbestos assessment, awareness and removal training has remained vital consideration for employers across a wide range of industries...

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