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Asbestos exposure in the non-occupational environment

2015: This paper reviews the risks from asbestos exposure in the non-occupational environment.

This review provides a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the scientific evidence on the risks from asbestos exposure (including exposure type and duration) in the non-occupational environment in New Zealand.

It specifically addresses the level of risk to residents of houses containing asbestos, and of exposure during renovations and repairs.

The report concludes that remediation activities are unlikely to result in any significant increase in risk to homeowners and occupants of damaged houses, unless they repeatedly perform such work themselves, without taking proper precautions such as wetting the surfaces and using a respirator.

Download Asbestos Exposure in New Zealand: Review of the Scientific Evidence of Non-occupational Risks

Panel members and roles

  • Sir David Skegg, President, Royal Society of New Zealand: Convener
  • Sir Peter Gluckman, Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor: Convener
  • Associate Professor Diana Sarfati: Cancer and public health epidemiologist 
  • Dr Cheryl Brunton: Public health physician (environmental health) 
  • Professor David Johnston: Hazard and risk assessment expert 
  • Dr Michael Beasley: Medical toxicologist 
  • Hon Margaret Austin: Community representative.

The panel was supported by Dr Anne Bardsley, a researcher from the office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.