The Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide is grappling with a rise in asbestos contamination, with 129 properties registering with the local waste authority as containing asbestos-contaminated material.
The Executive Officer of the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority, Simon Grenfell, explained that the FRWA had sold more than 26,000 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated material to the general public since 2018.
“The contamination is a result of 50 kilograms of asbestos waste being mixed in with five million kilograms of aggregate stockpile and while minimal on any reasonable assessment, The Environment Protection Authority have determined sites receiving materials from this stockpile must be remediated and FRWA has taken a zero tolerance approach in that remediation process,” Mr Grenfell said.
Many residents are concerned that they had unwittingly purchased asbestos-containing full for their properties, and the long term effect it may have on their families.
One resident said that “potentially, we have been working and living among asbestos dust that could have very negative health results to all of us for years to come.”
Mr Grenfell said it was likely the contaminated occured when a member of the community dropped off material that contained asbestos. He said that the “health and safety of the community is our priority and as such we have already started to remediate sites and we will not stop until all sites are fully remediated.”
“Our community can be confident we are doing all that is needed to fix this issue. FRWA is remediating the properties as quickly as possible using qualified asbestos management companies who are experienced in managing this type of material to remove the material from properties.
“FRWA are also applying a soil binder to affected properties. The soil binder has been demonstrated to encapsulate asbestos containing material and fibrous asbestos.”
The cost of the error and remediating the affected properties is expected to be more than $10 million, across four local council areas.