SLA and Agencies Conducting Further Asbestos Surveys
1. Following the discovery of asbestos in St John’s Island, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has been working with relevant agencies to conduct further asbestos surveys on islands which are open to the general public as a precautionary measure.
Update on St John’s Island
2. Following SLA’s announcement of the asbestos removal works on St John’s Island on 23 Apr 2018, SLA has hoarded up the affected areas and commenced asbestos removal works.
Discovery of asbestos on Kusu Island
3. On Kusu Island, pieces of debris containing asbestos were discovered around the lagoon and beach areas. Asbestos was not detected at the Da Bo Gong (Tua Pek Kong) temple, wishing well, tortoise sanctuary, temporary hawker centre, and jetty. These areas will remain open to visitors. The regular scheduled daily ferry services to Kusu Island will also continue.
4. SLA has cordoned off public access to affected areas and will be conducting asbestos removal works. The areas will remain closed to the public until removal works are completed. SLA aims to complete the removal works by October 2018.
Lazarus Island, Pulau Seringat and Kias Island
5. No debris containing asbestos was found on Lazarus Island, Pulau Seringat and Kias Island. The public may continue to access these islands via the causeway from the jetty at St John’s Island.
6. The asbestos survey work for Pulau Hantu will be completed by next week. If asbestos is found, SLA will undertake the necessary removal works and implement similar precautionary measures to safeguard public safety.
7. SLA will also work with relevant agencies to conduct asbestos surveys on other islands which are open to the general public.
8. Internationally, asbestos was commonly used in building materials. The material has been banned in Singapore since 1989 due to concerns about health risks, following other developed countries. Nevertheless, the asbestos materials in old buildings are unlikely to pose any health risk as long as they remain in good condition and are not disturbed.
9. Asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis occur mainly in people with many years of continued exposure to high levels of asbestos, and this is commonly work-related. The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease for persons with incidental exposure, including visitors to affected islands, is low.
10. The public may call SLA at 1800 323 9829 or email SLA at SLA_enquiry@sla.gov.sg if they have any query.
A. Factsheet on Health Impact of Asbestos Exposure
B. Publicly-accessible Areas on Kusu Island
C. Photographs of Asbestos Containing Materials found on Kusu Island