Measures tightened after asbestos rubble scare

8:24 pm on 18 October 2011

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority says it is double-checking all its paperwork following the dumping of potentially asbestos-contaminated quake rubble in a Christchurch landfill.

The Department of Labour has found local demolition company Dormer Construction was not told by the quake recovery authority there could have been asbestos in 24 truckloads of rubble at a Cashel Street demolition site in July this year.

The blue asbestos - the most harmful variety - was discovered only once a digger driver's complaint had been investigated.

The department's report says the asbestos was not identified by contractors because they had not come across that type before.

Howevr, it says no traces of asbestos were found in the rubble dumped before the carcinogen was discovered.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority acting chief executive Warwick Isaacs says measures have been taken to make sure the situation is not repeated, and because the asbestos was dealt with quickly there is no public health risk.