China-imported hazardous asbestos fibres were found in Nystar’s Lead and Zinc smelter in South Australia exposing 700 of employees at risk.

It is considered one of the the most dangerous forms of asbestos, Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) state secretary said. As a friable product, it is more likely to get airborne, CFMEU state secretary Aaron Cartledge further said.

The hazardous materials were discovered in the plaster coating of 8 metal vessels with the largest piece having more than 21m of length. It was discovered that the supplies were brought in about a month ago, and was installed in the Acid plant of the redevelopment project at Port Pirie.

Disgraceful for Border Force

The Australian Border Force is now being investigated for the illegal entrance of such banned material.

An urgent talk with Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton had been requested by Deputy Premier John Rau. Minister Dutton said in a statement that it is disgraceful that the border guards are still failing to keep the products out of the country in spite of being banned for over 10 years now.

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