Asbestos Containing Materials in Public Housing Estates
The Housing Department has banned the use of asbestos containing materials since 1984. However, in some older housing estates built before 1984, asbestos containing materials had been used. Most of the asbestos containing materials in public housing estates have been removed and those remaining are mainly in balcony grilles, staircase grilles, chimneys, arc chutes inside the main electrical cubicle switchboards and interior fire barriers of busbar risers inside meter rooms. In fact, these asbestos containing materials are tightly bonded with cement, plaster or bitumen. Unless they are broken or damaged, otherwise under normal circumstances they are unlikely to cause health hazards as such bonded materials have very low possibility of releasing asbestos fibre into air. In addition, the Housing Department has worked with the Environmental Protection Department and the Labour Department in putting in place a series of safety measures, periodic inspection and monitoring plan as well as special abatement procedures to protect the health of tenants and workers. A record of asbestos containing materials existing in public housing estates is available at the concerned estate offices as well as on the Housing Authority / Housing Department Web Site. Tenants and the general public are advised not to cause any disturbance or damage to these asbestos containing materials deliberately. In cases where the asbestos containing materials are found broken or damaged, the Housing Department should be informed as early as possible to take appropriate action.