CSR’s historic involvement in asbestos
The involvement of CSR and its subsidiaries in asbestos litigation in Australia and the US arises from the mining of raw asbestos fibre by one of CSR’s subsidiaries. CSR and certain of its subsidiaries, also sold some asbestos-containing products within Australia.
CSR’s involvement in asbestos mining ceased in 1966 and CSR's involvement in the manufacture of products containing asbestos ceased in 1977.
CSR’s commitment and claims philosophy
CSR has been settling claims in Australia since 1989 and the US since 1993. CSR continues to assess all claims diligently and fairly and, where there is a demonstrated liability, CSR will seek to offer a fair settlement. CSR’s policy is to meet valid claims on an equitable basis.
CSR includes in its financial statements a product liability provision covering all known asbestos-related claims and reasonably foreseeable future claims. This provision is reviewed every six months based on independent expert advice in relation to the future incidence and value of asbestos related claims. The provision also includes a prudential margin above the aggregate of the central estimate of CSR’s total future asbestos liabilities. As at 30 September 2023, the asbestos provision fell to $187.1 million (previously $193.4 million as at 31 March 2023). This provision included a prudential margin of $36.1 million.
CSR’s support of research into asbestos related diseases
Since 2010, CSR has sponsored the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute’s tissue biobank study. The building of a comprehensive nationwide tissue biobank of considerable size incorporating serum, plasma, DNA, RNA and tumour tissue will permit the construction of a comprehensive catalogue of genomic abnormalities associated with mesothelioma in both tumour and control tissue, which will help researchers better understand the biology of the disease in an effort to try and achieve better clinical outcomes. Information on the tissue bank (which will be very high quality and quite rare) will be made available to the international research community. The resources needed to establish the tissue bank are considerable and include the initial equipment, as well as access to trained nursing staff on site around the country to be ready to collect samples from mesothelioma sufferers. For further information visit: www.adri.org.au
Asbestos in the community
While CSR has not been involved in the manufacture of asbestos for over 45 years, we recognise that the product is still found in the environment. CSR believes the safe removal of asbestos is best done by properly accredited specialists, and there is a significant amount of information available on the safe handling and removal of asbestos. For more information on the safe handling of asbestos, visit: www.asbestosawareness.com.au