A recent report claims that passengers that travel to and from the Gold Coast Airport in Australia over the next few months could potentially be exposed to the carcinogenic asbestos, as a result of renovation works that are due to take place at the airport. Exposure to airborne asbestos dust and fibers can result in a range of health problems, including the deadly asbestos related cancer known as mesothelioma.

Officials have confirmed that the ceiling of the terminal contains asbestos, and that this will be disturbed when renovation works begin. Works are due to begin within the next six months. However, the Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan claims that staff and passengers are not in any danger.

He said: "No-one is at risk. There will not be two million people affected by this. We will be removing it after hours so that neither staff nor passengers will be introduced to it." He added: "We will be operating within the asbestos code of practice for management and control. Every safety precaution will be used. The area of removal will be sealed off by plastic walls. There is a 65-page manual that prescribes the management and control of asbestos that we are adhering to."

However, a union official said that workers would be pulled from the airport if there were signs of any danger. He said: "We are going to pursue it. We will have one of our officials investigate it. The airport will have to take absolute total care, or we will not be having baggage handlers at the airport if there is any chance they will be exposed. If there is asbestos then we will be addressing that with the airport. "No-one should be allowed in the terminal ."

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