Asbestos has been found at a development in Campbell. The Land Development Agency has confirmed asbestos is present at a site off Constitution Avenue which has been designated for a $250 million development, including residences.
Apparently, asbestos has been there since the 1950s. The Canberra Times reported that in 1953 there was a fire ”in the rubbish dump near Constitution Avenue” and that rubble was ”persistently being set alight”.
It seems as though the residue was built over when defense housing started to be built in Campbell between 1957 and 58.
Land Development Agency chief executive officer David Dawes said there was no health risk from the asbestos because it was contained in the soil and not airborne.
When asbestos is disturbed is when problems arise. If asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may lead to several diseases like mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lungs, heart and chest cavities.
”Based on a contamination assessment by an independent consultant, works are required to remediate identified asbestos and petroleum product contamination, builder’s rubble, rubbish and household waste in the south-east and central areas of the site,” said Dawes. ”Remediation of asbestos contamination in near-surface topsoils is also required in the central south-west and north-west areas of the site, which consultants have informed is bound within the root zone of grasses and weeds.”
Whatâ€™s next for the site? The Environment Protection Agency needs to approve a plan for the removal of the harmful mineral so no one is exposed to it without safety gear.
”Works will be conducted in consultation with an environmental specialist who will also independently audit the affected areas once the remedial works have been completed,” added Dawes.
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