Roebourne Asbestos Risk

June 3, 2003 - Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple has sent an urgent request for the Department of Environmental Protection to investigate a suspected dump of blue asbestos just to the south of the town of Roebourne in the Pilbara.

The dump was discovered on the southern flanks of Mt Welcome. Photographs indicate a number of piles of the material and windblown fibres across an extensive area. In one photograph, the town of Roebourne can be clearly seen in the background, indicating that the dump is right on the outskirts of town.

'The material looks very likely to be crocidolite, perhaps the most dangerous form of asbestos,' Mr Chapple said.

Crocidolite is associated with both asbestosis and mesothelioma, and is responsible for more documented cases of these diseases than the other forms of asbestos.

'I am not sure if this material has been illegally dumped or even how long it has been blowing around, but it is essential that we track down the extent of the contamination and properly dispose of it,' Mr Chapple said.

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