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Not so Mickey Mouse Crayons

When people had bought crayons, thinking that they were “mickey Mouse” they had no idea that they may contain carcinogenic fibres. This month it was reported that crayons made in China had contained asbestos. The storey unfolded though asbestos testing conducted in the United States, however it is reported that these crayons containing asbestos may be also have been imported into Australia.

The crayons are apparently available in Australia through online stores; if you have crayons bought online with fantasy characters, then it should be considered to dispose of them as though they contain asbestos, or have them tested to provide piece of mind.

Mr Fluffy Homes – Risk of 16 in 100,000

A Sydney University professor has calculated that the risk of developing an asbestos related disease when living in a Mr Fluffy home is 16 in 100,000 by analysing asbestos air monitoring results. While the reported estimate is an average of 0.001 fibres per millilitre. There may be significant error in this as the risk is based on air monitoring results below the detectable limit as outlined within the Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Fibres 2nd Edition [NOHSC:3003(2005)].

There are also other limitations in that the risk relates to the air monitoring undertaken when there was no significant disturbance; if there was renovation works or similar that has resulted in fibres being released into the living areas, there would likely be a significantly higher risk. While there may be a risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer, the amount of fibres in the air are reportedly low enough that there wouldn’t be a significant risk of asbestosis.

Whatever the risk, it doesn’t bring comfort to the two people that lived in Mr Fluffy houses and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. To date there are now 72 Mr Fluffy asbestos riddled houses in NSW. The NSW WorkCover program has identified 15 houses in addition to the number of Mr Fluffy Houses which were already known through historical records.

Wagga Wagga Residents urged to have Mr Fluffy Tests Conducted

The Fair Trading Commissioner has urged residents in the Riverina to register for the free NSW asbestos testing program offered by WorkCover. The program has less than a year left to get free asbestos testing of the roof insulation, with August 2016 being the cut-off date.

Home owners who don’t participate in the scheme will likely lose out on any government funded buy back schemes so it is important that Wagga residents register. It is understood that the buyback scheme will be conducted by the average of two valuations of the property, which nominally appears to be a fair scheme given the potential cost in clearing the property of the friable asbestos themselves.  A bill for decontaminating a Mr Fluffy home could be in the hundreds of thousands.

Cairns Civic Theatre Closed due to Asbestos Scare

Damaged structural bracing was found to have exposed fibres which were thought to have been asbestos. Apparently the material had been sent to a laboratory to undertake asbestos testing to confirm whether the deadly fibres were present.

For more information on asbestos testing and inspections, please contact the team at Safe Environments.

Author: 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.