Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Asbestos is marvellous stuff for kiddies. Get some today for your children to play with. They will love it.

You can get bits of hot water pipe lagging that you can squeeze and it just crumbles.

You can use a formed piece to use on your hotplates to slow simmer.

You can get a piece in the shape of the base of an iron to sit your iron on so that it doesn't burn the ironing board cover.

But for the kiddies, nothing beats breaking up old sheets of asbestos cladding, only surpassed perhaps by breaking up old 78 rpm records.

Myself and my nearest brother (cough) learnt about fulcrums from (cough) asbestos. That is put some over a fulcrum to break it. But if it was a big sheet (cough), the joy of jumping on it could not be surpassed. As a cheap frisbee, asbestos failed really (cough), but we tried.

I would not call myself artistic, but I made some asbestos shapes and planted them in garden bed. I was ever so (cough) proud.

Finally my own home and my own asbestos garage in 1981. It was complete with a hole in one sheet. I ripped it off, broke it into small pieces to go in the rubbish and I replaced it with cement sheet. That is what the label said, and now yet (cough) I find out cement sheet in 1981 had asbestos in it.

What is this Mr James Hardy, subsumed by BHP Billiton? You knew before I was (cough) born that asbestos was dangerous to health?

(cough) Sorry about the coughing. I must have gotten a bit of chilli from last night's dinner (cough) stuck in my throat. Can (cough) someone slap my back?


  1. Great post. The olden days!

  2. You want to know something really funny... Only a couple of years ago I was working for a company that did contract work for one of those telephone companies. I won't mention which one.

    Often the exchanges had missing or incomplete information about what parts of the building were constructed from asbestos.

    More often, it was quicker and easier to drill through the shit without following proper protocols and disposal methods.

    You reckon I stand a chance?

  3. Anonymous10:00 pm

    I think I worked for the same "telephone company" - worked with asbestos every day, laying asbestos conduit, (can show you the streets where I laid it, its still there, "harmless if its undisturbed") (so we are told.) Asbestos jointing pits too - then they changed the pits to a concrete mix, we cursed as it was hard to knock a clean hole through them for cable entry. Survived two bouts of cancer, hopefully all cut out now - but it leaves you wondering. They screened us for lead exposure (from lead sheathed cable) but asbestos? - nah, dont worry, its harmless mate.
    Wonder if their the same people responsible for the recent GFC - willing to bet on it. And Global Warming and what to do about it - well, guess whose running THAT debate as well...
    Fuck, its good being an Australian, the egalitarian, classless, fair go society is the envy of the world...

  4. I think I did see that Jayne. Wicked.

    Not always so good hey Emstacks.

    Mutant, that is a very good point. Workers will always do things like that. That is why it is up to management to ensure that a site is properly inspected and remedial work is budgeted for. Seems to depend on other matters as well as exposure.

    Nice work Michael. I do actually believe is ok if undisturbed, but how can it be guaranteed to remain undisturbed? CEOs should demonstrate it is safe by some hands on work. Lead seems to be pretty bad to have long term contact with. Glad you are ok now.

  5. As kids we had piles of this "white stuff" under the house, we licked it and used it as cheap chalk on the cement for hopscotch...but "I did not inhale" tee hee...

  6. MC, you hope you did not inhale. Seems most are immune to it.