Asbestos discoveries provoke call for temporary ban on Chinese building materials

14 September 2016: A report in to the recent discovery of asbestos at Perth Children's Hospital has prompted a call for a temporary ban on imports of Chinese building materials.

CFMEU WA Secretary Mick Buchan told ABC news: "Until we have systems in place to ensure that any product that comes in from overseas is asbestos-free then we really need to consider what we are importing, and if that means not importing similar products until that can be resolved then that's what we should do."

The greater volumes of imports resulting from trade agreements mean it is harder to find and prevent dangerous products like asbestos from coming into Australia. The agreements also make it more difficult for governments to increase product standards without being accused of interfering with free trade. Asbestos exposure is deadly and greater controls must be put in place before further trade deals are signed.

Read our previous posts on this topic:

29 August 2016: Discoveries of imported asbestos as govt negotiates Indonesia deal

5 August 2016: Call for bans on dangerous asbestos imports linked to trade agreements