Asbestos disposal at local council waste centres

Residents in Ipswich will not be able to transport asbestos themselves to any of the council’s refuse centres from the 1st of September 2014.

Cr Victor Attwood believes by not accepting asbestos at the Riverview Recycling Centre, it will force residents not to transport any asbestos themselves and instead hire a professional to handle and to dispose of this dangerous material.

Current legislation

Up until the 31st of August, residents can transport up to 250 kg of asbestos to the Riverview Refuse Centre only, as the other waste centres in Ipswich do not accept asbestos any longer.

Current Queensland Legislation states that residents can transport up to 250 kg asbestos wastes themselves, however any more than that has to be done by a registered and licensed removalist.

The council is also going a step further, and writing to the Queensland Government to change the current rules and regulations and mandate all asbestos removal and transportation by a licensed and registered operator irrespective of the weight.

Asbestos is a dangerous substance and highly toxic. It can cause mesothelioma and lung diseases which are slow to develop and in many cases deadly.

Up to the 1980s, asbestos was widely used in the construction and building industry, as well as in shipyards, power stations, boiler makers and plumbing. It was a very popular material of home buildings, used in fibro cement, insulation, paint, floor coverings, ceiling tiles, and roofing materials in Australia.

There can be a lag period of 20 years or more after exposure to asbestos before symptoms of lung disease appear. People are getting asbestos-related lung diseases now from exposure that occurred 30 or even more than 40 years ago.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma - AMAALung cancer, like the type that occurs in smokers, may occur 20 years or more after exposure to asbestos. The chance of getting lung cancer is much more likely in people who both smoke and have been exposed to asbestos fibres.

Symptoms of lung cancer may include a cough, blood in the sputum, weight loss and chest infections that don’t seem to clear up.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung, that may take 20 to 40 years or more to develop. Relatively little asbestos exposure is required to develop a mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos does not make mesothelioma inevitable and only a very small percentage of people exposed to asbestos develop mesothelioma.

The main symptoms are difficulty breathing and chest pain, but these can also be symptoms of other conditions including heart disease.

Asbestos related diseases support group

For more information about the dangers of asbestos and any asbestos related diseases, call the Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia (AMAA) on 1800 017 758 today.