(Written by Tevita Vuibau)
16 June 2014 – NINE of the 365 vessels surveyed by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji were found to have asbestos in them however, tests of the asbestos are below 0.01ml and considered safe.
The tests were carried out by an asbestos technical team made up of officials from MSAF, the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Health.
“The asbestos monitoring on vessels was a nationwide exercise with no individual vessel singled out for this testing and monitoring exercise,” MSAF said yesterday.
“Two tests were carried out in this exercise — a dust test and an air test.”
Dust tests were carried out where lagging or false ceilings were tested for asbestos flakes.
If the tests came back positive, an air sampling of dust measurement would then be carried out to provide a more complete assessment of the ambient conditions on board.
“The asbestos testing was carried out in accordance with the IMO guidelines.”
MSAF said the nine vessels that tested positive amounted to 2.2 per cent of the total vessels inspected.
“The Ministry of Labour received the certificate of analysis from Australia on the level of ACMs, wherein it was confirmed that the results of the nine vessels tested identified that the concentration of the ACMs was less than 0.01ml.”
“This was deemed to be negligible and considered safe. Therefore, although the result is negligible and considered safe, vessel owners are still required to continue with the control measures stipulated in the IMO Guidelines to eliminate or minimise exposure and prevent further release of asbestos.”