No 'immediate health risk' from Moana Pool asbestos

Asbestos discovered at Moana Pool poses no immediate risk to the health of staff or the public, according to the Dunedin City Council.

The council's parks and recreation department discovered asbestos in restricted areas of the pool during recent maintenance checks of the buildings that house its operations.

Group Manager Parks and Recreation Richard Saunders said the maintenance checks identified further inspection and testing for asbestos was needed at several sites, of which Moana Pool was one.

"Clearly we take any potential health and safety risks to our staff or the public very seriously," Mr Saunders said.

"Testing by qualified contractors confirmed asbestos is present in some areas, which is to be expected in a building of this age. We then immediately isolated these areas, which are mainly plant and storage areas, as a precaution and restricted access.

"However, subsequent air testing to date has shown it poses zero immediate risk to people's health."

No asbestos has been found in public areas of the pool and expert advice indicated they were low risk areas.

However, precautionary tests of all the public areas had been carried out, and the results are due tomorrow.

Mr Saunders said a detailed final report outlining what should be done next is expected by early next week. Options could include continuing to restrict access, sealing off affected areas or removal of the asbestos.

"It's good we have been alerted to this now so we can take action before it becomes an issue."

Initial inspections have been carried out at two other buildings - the Sims building in Port Chalmers, which is leased to a club, and a storage shed located next to Tahuna Park used by Parks and Recreation staff and contractors.

Those inspections have not raised any immediate health and safety concerns, but as a precaution all users are being notified and access will be restricted until further testing is complete.

Mr Saunders said relevant staff had been advised and the department was working with them to address any concerns they might have.

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