Asbestos found at Tokyo Olympic water polo venue


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Regulations just about everywhere in the world are similar. Removing asbestos releases more of the stuff into the air, so if the asbestos is stable, painting or covering it with something is standard procedure.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Probably lagging on pipework, and probably white asbestos. Can be encapsulated and labelled. A measure of the air can be taken for numbers of fibers in it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

On the subject matter in hand, undamaged asbestos, if left undisturbed, presents little harm to members of the public. What the authorities need to do is cover the asbestos (to prevent accidental damage) and label it (so that future demolition workers will be informed of its presence).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

For pipework lagging it can be encapsulated in plastic.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan was very slow in phasing out asbestos. I wasn't listening intently, but I think the news said this building is from Heisei 5, which is 1993. For Europe it would be unthinkable for asbestos to still be in use in the 1990s. It was already a notorious problem back then.

The father of one of my best friends died young due to asbestosis. It is an extremely nasty condition.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Statistics? Percentage? Facts instead of scaremongering headlines?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

While Japanese construction industry regulations state asbestos should be removed or covered up,

Yeah well, looks like they got caught, not a great "cover-up" and thankfully so!

This is getting criminally negligent in my opinion!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The Canadian government and Canadian companies pushed asbestos in Asia. They have blood on their hands. Despite being aware of the health dangers and banning asbestos use in Canada they aggressively exported and promoted the product overseas for decades.

Greed and evil on an epic scale by Canadian corporations and the Canadian government.


4 ( +6 / -2 )

Another article about Canada promoting asbestos in developing countries.


4 ( +6 / -2 )

Can't the asbestos be released into the ocean?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

...undamaged asbestos, if left undisturbed, presents little harm to members of the public.

I'm guessing that the risk would increase in a country prone to earthquakes and in a facility built before the 1995 earthquake saw building restrictions tighten. The decision to take "emergency countermeasures" sounds like they've already done their "air particle" testing and can't just leave it as it is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Are dangerous materials not tested or analysed in major construction programs in Japan these days.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Agree with Zichi: measure particle levels in ambient air.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Tokyo 2020 organizers will take "emergency countermeasures" after asbestos was found at the water polo venue for next year's Games after initially opting against treating it when it was discovered two years ago, Asahi newspaper reported on Monday."

Hahaha! Love it! Caught red-handed and it's made public that they ignored it and did not report it, and they panic and say they will take "Immediate countermeasures against the things we... ummm... deemed it unnecessary before to do so... but it's... ummm... necessary now."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stupid overreaction.

Asbestos is only dangerous when it is disturbed...such as when construction workers try to remove it. Asbestos in a building is not normally going to cause mesothelioma if it is not exposed. Asbestos enters the lungs because it is churned up into the air. Yes, it's dangerous for construction and demolition workers. It's extremely rare that anyone is exposed to asbestos in the normal use of a building. No fans or athletes would even be in the venue long enough to face serious exposure. The only people who could potentially be at risk are long-term workers in the venue, but they are fine so long as the asbestos is stable.

Construction workers pulling out otherwise stable asbestos, on the other hand? They're creating a health hazard where none existed.

But, hey, there's a lot of money in asbestos removal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


So you think it's a stupid over reaction. Your right asbestos isn't dangerous if it's not disturbed, but in a country that has so many earthquakes it should be banned. And they should start to remove it from all buildings. So in the next earthquake there won't be cloud's of asbestos everywhere.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

i am more concerned about that creepy looking red thingie hanging on the wall there ... and who designed this monstrosity.. look like one of em post brutalist , bland thingies in europe

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Asbestos related diseases can take more than 20 years to form. In the 1970's I worked for the world's most renown company of microscopists has a microscopist in a London lab. A large part of my work was analyzing asbestos sample of blue, brown and white types. Visiting sites to collect air samples and then making a fiber count. I was also required to supervise the removal sites to ensure the safe removal and finally collect air samples to ensure was once again safe and then check that the removed asbestos was sent to a licensed dump before I would issue my certificate.

I supervised the removal of blue asbestos at one of the world's largest sites in and underground area in London the size of more than ten baseball pitches. The removal operation took more than one year to complete and several months of dormant before being returned to use. It was used by a company to store files and those files had to be collected, cleaned and sealed even before the asbestos removal began.

There is still alot of asbestos around, especially in older type buildings.

Blue asbestos is the most deadly type because of the way the fibers break up.The ratio of the fiber diameter to the length of the fiber causes it to stay airborne for very long periods of time. Brown asbestos is also similar. The white soft asbestos less so.

This building was constructed prior to the asbestos ban.

Even in the UK the asbestos wasn't totally banned.

Blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos were banned in 1985. White (chrysotile) asbestos was not included in this initial ban. White (chrysotile) asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999, nearly 15 years after the first asbestos bans.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

OK, now what's the betting these "emergency" measures (not an emergency if you knew about it 2 years ago and decided to hope nobody noticed) get carried out by the friend of a cabinet member in a no-bid contract, at a price several zeroes North of market rate, and it still gets done shoddily by minimum-wage, untrained day labour?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No asbestos should be used in construction in this day and age. Especially in a country where there are so many earthquakes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Organizers had since decided to take "emergency countermeasures", Asahi said without providing further details.

Which leaves me to wonder if it is because they are worried the IOC might move this event just like they moved the Maraton, albeit for a completely different reason. Just speculation on my part of course.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

re article: Tokyo 2020 organizers will take "emergency countermeasures" after asbestos was found at the water polo venue for next year's Games after initially opting against treating it when it was discovered two years ago,

2 yrs ago and now the public is being informed? Emergency countermeasures" please, there are no such countermeasures aside abatement. They had 2 yrs someone dropped the ball bigtime. Asbestos exposure is no laughing matter.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

the Tokyo government deemed the amount not to be large in scale, in a stable condition and not accessible so decided to leave it

For how many other facilities has the Tokyo govt. made such a decision?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not really a big deal for visitors to the venue.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Statistics? Percentage?

Ok..isn't .1% detrimental enough in the long run? I mean, this is pretty much indefensible and down right criminal. Where's the common sense?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Asbestos is not alway easy to detect and often not found until a contractor is doing work. Not all insulation material is asbestos. Some is mineral wool. In the 1970's the asbestos pipe lagging was first replaced with glass fiber but it was discovered glass fiber has similar properties to asbestos. That too had to be removed. It was around that time that encapsulating was started.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seems like someone hit the panic button without talking to others before doing so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

... and another nail goes in the coffin of the chances of any swimming being held there.

Has there been such haphazard preparations for an Olympics in recent history?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I worked for the world's most renown company of microscopists has a microscopist in a London lab

One day we will come across an article about a field you haven't worked in and know everything about.

There's an expression you may be familiar with... Jack of all trades...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it is stable, there is nothing to fear.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

As I understand the asbestos on the 2 pillars is away from public access and has been spray sealed and covered in stainless steel - according to last nights news. It poses no direct threat.

I think the fact that all Olympic facilities must be asbestos free is at the heart of the matter - sealed or not.

I can only assume the relevant authorities knew about it, but because of the enormous disruption and cost let the matter lie so as to speak. Time and money constraints have been well and truly been applied by the Powers, so a "no tell, no problem" situation arose.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Was raised in town that had major employer who produced Asbestos products for close to 80 years. Early 1980's they closed and former employees sued and got paid. Funny part was nobody who worked or lived there had any cancers from asbestos.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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