We take the health of our staff, volunteers and the community extremely seriously.
Transfer stations throughout Auckland do not accept asbestos containing materials (ACMs), but worryingly they are still turning up at our Lawrie Road and Rustybrook Road sites putting people and livelihoods at risk.
ACMs are not a health hazard if left undisturbed, but if they are cut, broken or disturbed in any way the asbestos fibres can be inhaled causing life-threatening lung disease or cancer called Mesothelioma. Due to the long latency period, about 20-50 years, many patients are not diagnosed until it has spread. There is no cure, however treatments and early detection, can improve the prognosis of the disease.
The risks are simply too high.
Asbestos can be found in many products throughout older homes and buildings especially those built before 1 January 2000, with over 3,800 products in New Zealand known to contain asbestos. See image below.
Unfortunately, fibre cement board is one of our our biggest concerns. Without lab testing it is almost impossible to tell if damaged fibre cement board contains asbestos or not. Therefore, as a safety precaution all types of fibre cement board are banned from our sites.
If asbestos is brought to our sites, we must follow strict health and safety procedures to keep our staff, volunteers and customers safe. This could mean closing down operations until decontamination can be undertaken at a massive cost, which would have to be on-charged to whoever dumped the offending materials. People disposing of asbestos illegally, also risk being fined under health and safety legislation.
DIY-ers should not take care of asbestos removal themselves, as this puts yourself and others at risk of exposure. It is recommended you have materials tested before starting any home renovations, and if you are worried about asbestos in your home talk to a health protection officer at the Auckland Regional Public Health Service on 09 623 4600.