AUSTRALIA will ban the use of carbon steel in classrooms because of a lack of scientific evidence of the material’s dangers, the National Education and Training Authority (NEA) has said.
Key points:The NEA has ruled the material is unsafe for use in schools, it saysIt is unclear whether the material would be used in classrooms or in the workplace, and it says it needs more data before it can make a final decisionThe decision follows a review by the Government of the steel, which was approved by the federal government in January.
In a statement on Tuesday, the NEA said the “absence of scientific data” about the steel’s effects on students and workers “wouldn’t justify the inclusion of the type of steel in Australian classrooms”.
“There is no evidence to support the use or consumption of carbon-steel in schools,” it said.
“There are no scientific studies to support its use in workplaces or in schools.”
It added that the material could cause harm to people’s health, and that it was “likely to be harmful to workers in the production process” of the product.’
A big step forward’The NEAA said the use and sale of carbonsteel in Australia would not be allowed in schools because of the “significant public health risks associated with its use”.
The decision was “a big step towards ending the use” of carbonfibre in schools and workplaces, it said, adding that it needed to do more research before making a final judgement.
The statement comes as a review of the National Industrial Classification of Steel by the Federal Government’s National Technical Research Organisation (NTRIO) found there was insufficient scientific evidence to recommend that carbon steel should be banned.
The NTRIO is the body responsible for determining industrial classification standards in Australia.
The National Technical Data Management Agency has also come under pressure for failing to adequately protect workers from the harmful effects of carbon fibre.
The Government’s NEA issued the policy guidance after a review into the issue by the NTRIOS advisory body.
In July last year, the Government’s education minister, Michelle Rowland, said she was “deeply concerned” by reports that children in Australian primary schools were using carbon steel.
“I’m looking at the research to see if we can do something to ensure the safety of young people in schools across Australia,” she said.
In September, the NTRA issued its final report on the issue, saying there was “sufficient evidence to conclude that carbon fibre products do not pose a risk to young people”.
It said it was unclear whether or not carbon fibre was used in schools or workplaces, and said it needed more data to make a decision.
The NEI said that in order to make such a decision, it would need “significant” information from industry and research agencies.
“This is not something that is going to be taken lightly,” NEI secretary, David Cuthbertson, said.