Boral has issued a warning to its customers over concerns that some of their fire-rated plasterboard products may be affected by asbestos contamination.
The contamination affects plasterboard that is fire-rated and produced by Boral, containing vermiculite imported from China. The presence of asbestos was uncovered in routine testing, and the company has told consumers to quarantine any of its fire-rated plasterboard products, pending further advice.
The National CFMEU Secretary, Dave Noonan, explained that the issue is serious and noted that “workers using Boral board need to demand the company inform them whether the products they are using are asbestos-free.”
“The company says the issue only affects its fire-rated plasterboard and that the level is 0.1% of the 3% vermiculite put into the board. Yet we know there is no safe level of asbestos exposure so construction businesses must take immediate steps to quarantine potentially contaminated products and ensure workers and customers are safe.”
“The CFMEU will engage with the company to eliminate the risk of exposure from factories, distribution centres and construction sites.”
“This latest asbestos contamination issue confirms the CFMEU’s repeated warnings that imported building products, particularly those from China, may not be safe.”
“We have seen too many instances of building supplies that are manufactured or sourced in poorly regulated markets like China failing basic safety requirements or exposing workers or end customers to unnecessary risk.”
The products potentially affected include the following, which the company says needs to be quarantined and not installed, distributed or supplied to customers.
- Firestop® Plasterboard
- Fire WetstopTM Plasterboard
- MultistopTM Plasterboard range (3/3HI, 4/4HI, 5/5HI)
- ShaftlinerTM Mould Stop Plasterboard.