Deadly coffins threaten jobs

News /
18 September 2009

Imported coffins made with noxious glues that fail Australian standards for emissions are being sold in Queensland.

Trevor Taylor, a principal of Ashton Manufacturing, one of Australia’s largest suppliers of coffins, and caskets, was alerted to the dangerous products at funeral industry exhibitions in Sydney and on the Sunshine Coast.

“Many of these coffins, built from Chinese wood panels, contain formaldehyde levels up to four times higher than the local product,” Mr Ashton said. “The big danger is that these coffins could harm; workers in a Queensland warehouse where this material is stored are exposed daily to toxic emissions.”

The Chinese coffins are not only threatening lives – but Australian jobs. The funeral industry, worth up to $800 million a year and employing hundreds of workers, is threatened by the imports that are unhealthy and sell well below the production costs of Australian products.

This Asian trade in coffin timbers is seen as another ‘back door’ infiltration that could damage an industry with a well-earned a reputation for manufacturing products from quality certified material.

“The importation and production of these non-certified substitutes flies in the faces of the Australian Government’s commitment to workplace health and safety,” says the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. “Specification of EO or E1 wood products certified under a JAS-ANZ accredited system will give a permanent solution to on-going problems associated with formaldehyde and life-threatening imported materials.”

Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia

The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia provides accreditation for plywood, LVL, particleboard, MDF and solid timber.

Learn more

Head Office

Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia

3 Dunlop Street

Newstead, QLD, 4006

Phone: 07 3250 3...

Regional Office/Distributor

ATCA Test Laboratory

Unit 3

45 Tallebudgera Creek Road

West Burleigh, QLD, 4219

Phone: 07 5520 4...