It has been recently reported that a Freedom of information request has been declined to identify houses that have been affected by Mr Fluffy in Canberra Houses within the ACT. Canberra renters may need to have their own asbestos inspections and asbestos air monitoring conducted to assess the potential risk of asbestos exposure. It appears as though the commercial interested of people who own Canberra houses that have been rented out are being protected by the Canberra / ACT government.
It appears that only through the documents relating to the sale of a house will people be aware that the house had undergone asbestos removal due to the Mr Fluffy insulation.
Who was Mr Fluffy?
Mr Fluffy was a insulation contractor who filled the roof cavity of Canberra houses within the ACT full of loose amosite asbestos. This asbestos had undergone a removal program through the ACT Canberra government which was termed the “Loose Asbestos Insulation Removal Program” which ran from 1988 to 1993. Asbestos testing Canberra houses for residual amounts of loose asbestos is required to confirm whether the amosite still remains.
The fear amongst people is of potential loose asbestos fibres within the home that may be inhaled. This may not actually occur on a daily or regular basis; it should be remembered that there is no scientific evidence that “one fibre can kill”.
What is the Concern with Mr Fluffy Asbestos Houses
The main concern however is that the loose asbestos that once was there and has been removed through the Loose Asbestos Insulation Removal Program, that there still may be residual asbestos within the wall cavities. Only asbestos testing can confirm the presence of Mr Fluffy still residing in the house. Once there is significant disturbance through partial demolition through refurbishment, it is likely that loose asbestos may be spread through the house.
How do I Know if my House has been affected by Mr Fluffy
It appears as through the government knows but is unwilling to tell people who may be renting in Canberra houses in the ACT, so if your renting, having an inspection by an ACT Canberra Asbestos Assessor who is an occupational hygienist will be assist to undertake an asbestos inspection to determine whether there may be loose asbestos insulation. Minor amounts of residual asbestos may not be able to be detected through the asbestos inspection though.
How do I assess the risk of asbestos in my house from Mr Fluffy
Asbestos air monitoring by a Class A ACT Canberra asbestos assessor can determine the amount of airborne fibre concentrations in the air. While there are accepted limits of airborne asbestos in the workplace, there have been no limits provided for residential household settings. The exposure may be extrapolated to determine the total fibre exposure by assessing how long people spend in their houses and assessing the airborne concentration of asbestos during certain activities.
Need more information about asbestos inspections in Canberra ACT
Please call Safe Environments Asbestos Check team who are NATA accredited and have ACT asbestos assessors on hand to assist with your house.
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.