Union says children's hospital asbestos 'more toxic than first thought'

July 17, 2016 at 11:44 AM

The construction industry union, the CFMEU says the asbestos found in Perth's new children's hospital is more toxic than first thought.

The CFMEU has issued a statement revealing it had commissioned its own scientific analysis on asbestos samples taken from the hospital. 

A spokesman said the union had received a verbal report during the week that the roof panels being installed at the children's hospital may have contained around five per cent asbestos, but that this latest report shows the percentage of asbestos to be as high as seven per cent. Under Australian law asbestos is completely banned.

The roof panels were supplied by Yuanda Australia, a subsidiary of Yuanda China Holdings - which is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of construction industry products. This discovery joins the recently-revealed scandal of the use of another Yuanda product in a Queensland building project also currently under construction.

The WA Building Commissioner Peter Gow has announced that the Commission will carry out an independent audit of the use of Yuanda products in the WA construction industry, beginning with the Perth Children's Hospital.

"The audit will check that the building has been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications so the public can be confident it is suitable and safe to be used," Mr Gow said.

"We will also be checking whether the building laws have been complied with and how the building standards have been applied."

Mr Gow said investigators were also working to identify how the product containing asbestos was able to enter the country, and would take action against builders or importers if required.

See also 

Perth Children's Hospital asbestos scare: At least 10 more WA projects under microscope