22 Jun 2016

Survey shows need for asbestos education

8:47 am on 22 June 2016

A survey has found young people in the Pacific Islands are uneducated about asbestos.

The Pacific Hazardous Waste Management Program or PacWaste said 60 percent of people under the age of 30 years old had little to no knowledge about the dangers of the toxic material.

Uncontrolled removal or repair of asbestos containing materials or their extensive deterioration, can release asbestos fibres, which are a health risk if inhaled.

Photo: Amol Lal

The survey questioned 100 people from 14 Pacific countries and territories.

PacWaste's communication manager Amber Carvan said they would be starting a campaign to inform young people about the dangers of asbestos.

"In terms of what we've learnt we have an urgent need to target our awareness raising materials to people aged under 30," she said.

"There is a fair amount of asbestos in the Pacific region that is in public locations.

"In some places such as Nauru, the asbestos survey team that went there photographed asbestos debris on the ground where young children were playing."

Amber Carvan said over the next year PacWaste will be removing asbestos from 73 Pacific locations

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