New Zealand to destroy asbestos-laden homes in NiueGovernment officials in New Zealand have ordered the demolition of over 100 abandoned houses in Niue that are filled with asbestos.
According to Radio Australia, the homes were built in the mid-1900s. Environmental agencies in Wellington and the Niue Health Ministry have wanted to tear down the houses in order to expand the area's tourism industry. The Health Minister, O'Love Jacobsen of Niue said that the project to tear down the homes would be completed in September. The New Zealand government would pay just over US$250,000 to tear down the homes and remove the debris to a safe disposal site.
However, while some of the homes have been abandoned for many years, some property owners do not agree with the government's plans. Taha Fasi owns two of the houses that will be torn down, but he tells the news source that the government does not have the right to demolish anything on his land without permission.
Jacobsen said that many homeowners in Niue have neglected the asbestos issue for up to 15 years, and that all homeowners have been notified of the problems. She told the news source that the government had to intervene for safety reasons, since homeowners were unresponsive.
An estimated 90,000 deaths occur every year due to diseases caused by exposure to asbestos, according to the World Health Organization. Asbestos is commonly found in building materials, and was used primarily for its strong insulation properties.
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Massachusetts school custodians learn about asbestos exposure, http://www.wickedlocal.com/norwell/news/x2105847083/Norwell-participates-in-asbestos-awareness-training#axzz2Ese9TA66, 12/14/12
Experts question integrity of asbestos exposure reports, international collaboration, https://www.rightoncanada.ca/?p=1761, 12/14/12
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