Asbestos Warning For Australian Schools Due to Dangerous Substance Found in Science Kits

Asbestos remains a potential problem in the USA and several countries around the world. Many problems in schools were cleared up in the United States with the enactment of AHERA programs across our country but it pays to be vigilant and aware. Australia for example, has become more and more active in their steps to eliminate the dangers of asbestos across their country. As you can see from the article below, sometimes asbestos fibers show up in non-traditional places.

According to ABC.com, an Asbestos safety alert has been issued after the potentially dangerous rock samples contained in some science education kits were purchased by 24 Northern Territory schools in Australia. The Australian Government Asbestos Eradication Agency issued a Health and Safety Alert identifying the following geographical samples that are NOT to be purchased by the schools:
• Asbestos
• Amphibole
• Amosite (grunerite)
• Tremolite
• Anthophyllite
• Actinolite
• Crocidolite (Blue asbestos/ Riebeckite)
• Fibrous zeolite including erionite and offretite
• Richterite
• Winchite
• Chrysotile (leucotile/white asbestos/chrysotile serpentine)
• Serpentine or serpentinite – including lizardite and antigorite serpentines

It has been advised by the Australian Government that advised schools should implement the following steps:
1. Immediately suspend use of all kits or samples that have not previously been confirmed as asbestos-free. Follow your school’s safety management plan for notification and dealing with this situation
2. If you have the supplier details, contact them to confirm whether your kit/sample contains asbestos or mineral talc that may be contaminated with asbestos (for example, ask to see a testing certificate) and arrange for a return or replacement of the kit/sample if necessary
3. If the supplier is unknown and you are not sure about whether a kit contains asbestos, you have the following options: Have the sample tested for the presence of asbestos. If confirmed to be asbestos, dispose of the geological samples as asbestos waste; or, treat all samples as potentially containing asbestos and dispose of as asbestos waste
4. If not returned to the supplier, affected products should be taken to an asbestos disposal facility

Asbestos exposure can lead to diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. If you, a family member or a friend were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we may be able to help. We have been assisting our clients with their asbestos cases since 1975. Please contact our office at 1-800-995-6991, for a free consultation.