Fiji Time: 5:38 PM on Friday 19 January

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Asbestos in Suva; Public urged to stay 500m away

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Update: 5:40PM AVOID travelling through the Suva Civic Centre area.

According to the Department of Information and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), demolition works at the Suva City Centre has exposed Asbestos, a known cause of mesothelioma cancer banned in several countries.

Fiji's Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate said they had received word from SPREP about the presence of the material and assured that National Occupational Health and Safety Service staff would to ensure the safe removal of asbestos.

"This follows the release of the assessment report from Pacifica Environmental Services (PES) and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) recently," Mr Usamate said.

The Minister specifically stressed that the asbestos identified in the SPREP report received yesterday contained 30 per cent of asbestos from the bulk material tested and is not airborne.

"SCC has been directed and is currently working on sealing off all the building openings and have cordoned off the surrounding areas with immediate effect."

More detailed reports in tomorrow's edition of The Fiji Times.

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