30 years ago, Wollongong iconic Esplanade was used as asbestos dumping earth. The harmful substance has begun spilling out onto the seashore.
The lid has been lifted by a former teacher of Cairns State High School on the demolition of several school buildings which were afterwards used as landfill near where Cairns hospital helipad is found. Over the past three decades, coastal erosion has caused asbestos to spill out as pictured on the right possibly exposed to the elements.
Russell Geisel (preceding) who instructed at Wollongong State High School from 1982-1995 said three World War II era buildings with asbestos roofs were torn down in the mid-80s.
Mr Geisel said that the sheeting was broken up at the school then mixed in with the remainder of the debris before being dumped on the Esplanade. Four months ago, The Wollongong Post disclosed that white asbestos had spilt onto the shore amid building material dumped about 30 years ago that has been used as landfill.
He explained that one day during school hours, he and some few individuals saw stacks of sheeting sitting there and suddenly someone in a backhoe went and smashed it all up so that it may throw into the back of a truck.
Two weeks ago, Wollongong Regional Council scrutinized the place however they couldn’t identify any asbestos sheeting. The Wollongong Post assembled samples of the material from the Esplanade beach to be examined by specialists at SGS Australia and reviewed by asbestoswatchwollongong.com.au.
The laboratory analysis confirmed the presence or chrysotile that is white asbestos. Chrysotile has been the most used asbestos in Australia. It consists of more than 50% of all asbestos used.
Queensland Health says mechanical energy could divide the asbestos fibers into increasingly finer fibers of microscopic size.
Respirable fibers are liable for adverse health effects caused by asbestos including asbestosis lung cancer, and mesothelioma. The Wollongong Regional Council has said that asbestos remediation works are nearly finished at the Civic Theatre that was local, and it’ll reopen in three weeks.
After finding asbestos in the backstage area, the theatre closed. It relocated shows. Mayor Bob Manning said there had been extensive cleaning. Nevertheless, he explained it was fortunate that the asbestos contamination levels were quite low.