According to an Australian expert, the threat of asbestos is still around as he warns against complacency and the lethal asbestos ongoing usage in developing country.

In 2008 there are more than 2 million tonnes of asbestos produced globally, said Professor Peter Sly from the Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute at the University of Queensland.

Mining activities and importing of asbestos products are still ongoing in developing countries he said as he calls for the support of the expert community to ban these health-endangering practices at an international level.

In a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia, Prof Sly wrote, Developing countries, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe are mining or importing asbestos for domestic use, and now account for the majority of the world's exposure to asbestos.

In Australia, asbestos was a legacy problem as most homes built prior the middle of 1980s contained some form of asbestos but generally it was not hazardous if left undisturbed, informed Prof Sly.

The removal and safe disposal of asbestos fall under state laws.

Earlier this year, a survey of 3,600 home renovators in NSW found that about 60 per cent admitted to handling asbestos.

Prof Sly said targeted and contextually appropriate education programs to increase awareness about the dangers of asbestos for at-risk populations are urgently needed as asbestos will stay with us for decades.

Research for prevention and curing asbestos-induced cancers is important too, said Prof Sly as the majority of people who will die due to exposure to asbestos already have asbestos in their lungs.