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Safe Environments have recently been engaged to undertake asbestos testing to houses in Wagga Wagga and the surrounding Riverina area. The NSW Free Asbestos testing program by WorkCover have ensured that a number of houses in Wagga have been cleared of Mr Fluffy. With quite a number of houses to inspect, under the NSW WorkCover testing program, one can only hope that all houses in Wagga will remain clear of the dreadful material.

Where did the loose asbestos insulation come from?

One unconfirmed report from a resident who was previously a NSW WorkCover inspector informed that the Mr Fluffy asbestos was from a shipment that couldn’t be used in the manufacture of brake linings. The Mr Fluffy apparently bought the asbestos insulation cheap and used it as insulation within people’s homes throughout Canberra and surrounding districts. Media reports include that the loose fill asbestos insulation was also used in houses within Wagga Wagga.

What might asbestos insulation look like?

To the untrained eye, asbestos cannot be differentiated between other insulation type materials used in homes. The types of insulation found throughout our inspections so far has predominately been Synthetic Mineral Fibre or SMF for short. SMF is an isotropic material which is essential made of glass that acts as an irritant to skin and the respiratory tract. It is not bio-persistent in the same manner as asbestos insulation.

For photos of what asbestos may look like click here

If you are based in Wagga Wagga, we recommend having your insulation within your ceiling space to be sampled by a licensed asbestos assessor to ensure that is does not contain asbestos. While the risk is relatively low that your house may have loose fill asbestos insulation; however if it does, then immediate action is required to ensure that you are not exposed any further.

Asbestos Testing Wagga Wagga

The loose asbestos fill insulation should only be sampled by a licensed asbestos assessor who has been trained in the use of personal protective equipment, including dust resistant overalls and personal respiratory equipment.

The asbestos testing process is quite involved; it isn’t as simple as getting an asbestos testing kit from Bunnings in the same way that you may be able to for lead dust testing. Asbestos testing requires samples to be analysed in a laboratory which has been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). This may take a number of days before you get a report back to demine whether your house contains loose fill asbestos insulation.

For more information on asbestos testing and consulting within Wagga Wagga, Junee, Narrandera, Cootamundra, Young & Yass, please call Safe Environments to assist with your asbestos concerns.

Author: Carl Strautins

Carl Strautins


Carl Strautins is a managing director of Safe Environments Pty Ltd a multi-specialist consultancy operating in the building, construction and property management industries. He provides the necessary guidance and risk minimisation strategies required by architects, construction companies and facility managers to ensure they mitigated their risk to property risk. He is engaged on a regular basis to provide expert opinion for disputes and legal proceedings. Click here to know more about him.