Asbestos found in 21 estates

TWENTY-ONE public housing estates have materials containing banned asbestos – 32 years after the government stopped using the cancer-causing substance.

According to a document uploaded by the Housing Authority (房委會) last week, 17 estates among the 21 have building parts with asbestos-containing materials easily accessible to the public.

But the document said most of these structures are in good condition and safe, and structures with defects have been repaired.

Earlier this year, the authority asked a consultant to check the condition of these building components. Three estates have staircases or lift lobby grills bonded with asbestos-containing materials. A few minor defects were found but no repair was necessary.

A total of 2,009 flats at Hing Wah (II) Estate (興華二邨) and 1,143 flats at Shek Lei Interim Housing Estate (石籬中轉房屋) have sealed balcony grills made with asbestos-containing materials.

After inspection, nine were found with defects and these have been fixed. Tenants are advised not to attach racks, hangers and nails on the grills. Of the 20 estates with chimneys containing asbestos, repair was necessary for one in Wah Fu (I) Estate (華富一邨).

The Housing Department (房屋署) stopped using asbestos in building construction since 1984. Most of the asbestos materials in some older buildings have already been removed.

The small amounts remaining are mainly in balcony grills in flats, staircases and lift lobby grills.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 27 October 2016)

Asbestos containing materials in public housing estates

Asbestos exposure