Unions in Australia have called for the federal government to launch an urgent probe into asbestos in a bid to try and rid the country of the deadly carcinogenic. Union officials state that asbestos in still in many homes and workplaces, and urgent action is needed to try and rid these buildings of this deadly threat.

One union official said: “This is an urgent request. You’ve got Australia with the highest rate of mesothelioma deaths anywhere in the world.” She added: “While there is a ban on it, clearly it still lives amongst us.”

Cancer researchers suggest that Australia and Britain have the highest asbestos related mortality rates in the world. It is thought that the number of Australians that die from asbestos related cancer will reach its peak in the next decade.

The union official also said: “As these buildings get older, the deterioration will become even more prevalent. That, of course, increases the risk for Australians, whether they are handling asbestos or not.”

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