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Plasterboard manufacturer USG Boral has issued a warning to customers that some of their fire-rated plasterboard products may be contaminated with asbestos.

The contamination affects fire-rated plasterboards containing vermiculite imported from China and was discovered in routine testing. The company has told builders to quarantine any USG Boral fire-rated plasterboard products pending further advice.

“Workers using USG Boral board need to demand the company inform them whether the products they are using are asbestos free,” said Dave Noonan, CFMEU National Construction Secretary.

“The company says the issue only affects its fire-rated plasterboard and that the level is 0.1% of the 3% vermiculite put into the board. Yet we know there is no safe level of asbestos exposure so construction businesses must take immediate steps to quarantine potentially contaminated products and ensure workers and customers are safe.”

USG Boral is advising customers to quarantine the following fire-rated plasterboard products and refrain from installing, distributing or supplying them to customers:

  • Firestop® Plasterboard
  • Fire WetstopTM Plasterboard
  • MultistopTM Plasterboard range (3/3HI, 4/4HI, 5/5HI)
  • ShaftlinerTM Mould Stop Plasterboard.

USG Boral says it has stopped using the Chinese-sourced vermiculite and will switch to another source and is arranging for the safe removal of all unused Chinese-sourced vermiculite from their facilities at Camellia, Port Melbourne, and Pinkenba, and is testing all finished products made using vermiculite as an ingredient.

How can Airsafe help?

Sample testing

Airsafe offers asbestos testing services to identify the type of asbestos present. Airsafe is NATA accredited in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4964 — Method for the qualitative identification of asbestos in bulk samples. We collect samples for testing, then conduct testing in our state-of-the-art laboratory.

Our independence and NATA accreditation ensure sample integrity, and the high level of expertise of our staff means you can trust our test results. Our customer satisfaction and industry reputation are second to none.

Need help with testing USG Boral board products? Call Airsafe on 1300 888 338.

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