Asbestos remediation in the Cook Islands : a long-term solution for making schools safer

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Berry, Terri-Ann
Wairepo, Daniel
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Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
asbestos abatement
asbestos in building
asbestos contamination
soil contamination
Super Six roofing
Rarotonga (Cook Islands)
Cook Islands
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Berry, T-A. & Wairepo, D.(2015). Asbestos remediation in the cook islands : a long-term solution for making schools safer. In M. Panko & L. Kestle (Eds.). Building Today - Saving Tomorrow: Sustainability In Construction And Deconstruction Conference Proceedings. (pp. 6-17). Auckland, New Zealand: Unitec Institute of Technology. Retrieved from:
Asbestos contamination in the South Pacific originates mainly from construction products containing asbestos (SPREP, 2011). In Rarotonga, asbestos contamination in the soil surrounding two schools examined (Nikao Maori and Avatea) is believed to have originated from the Super Six roofing product that previously covered all existing classrooms on the site. This type of roofing becomes brittle and susceptible to increased weathering as the product ages. The weathering process from the sun, wind and rain releases the asbestos fibres into the environment (Bowler, 2014). The roofing has only recently been replaced with corrugated iron. The aim of this research was to identify remedial solutions for the removal and disposal of contaminated soil around the schools and for the future earthworks in Rarotonga. Four potential solutions were identified including: i. Capping the contaminated material on-site; i i . Removal and disposal of the contaminated material to local landfill; iii. Removal and disposal of the contaminated material internationally; iv. Removal and disposal of the contaminated material at sea. Solutions considered the feasibility of each option (both in the short and long-term), minimising impact on the residents and the workers exposed, reducing environmental impact and assessing the financial implications for each option
Unitec Institute of Technology
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Unitec Institute of Technology
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