Asbestos scare turns out to be linen
Fears of possible asbestos contamination at the Canberra Hospital have been allayed after tests revealed suspicious fibres were actually made of linen.
Construction work on levels 7 and 9 were halted this week after airborne fibres were detected. Staff, patients and visitors were advised that the risk of coming into contact with asbestos was low.
But ACT Health spokesman Charles Guest said testing conducted with an electron microscope had determined the fibres were not asbestos.
“Because of the extensive safety measures put in place by the qualified asbestos remover involved in
refurbishment work at Canberra Hospital, we considered the risk of asbestos exposure to be remote,’’ Dr Guest said.
“The formal testing has confirmed this and has determined the fibres to be organic in nature indicating their origins may be from linen such as bed sheets, blankets, towels or clothing.
“ACT Health has followed all relevant laws, safety procedures, codes of practice and guidelines in undertaking the asbestos removal work, and in informing the public of a potential hazard when it was detected.’’