Owners of homes older than 1980 in 28 local government areas of NSW are encouraged to take advantage of the NSW Government program that provides free, independent testing to confirm if their homes have loose fill Asbestos or “Mr Fluffy’ insulation.
The Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce run by the Department of Fair Trading states it is reasonable to assume that properties constructed before 1980 may contain loose-fill Asbestos insulation. The program has found loose fill Asbestos insulation in 91 NSW homes across 28 local government areas.
Martin Swimburn’s home was one of the 91 that tested positive, and the family is left with the decision to either rebuild or sell the home that they purchased more than five years ago.
Mr Swimburn said, “It was built in the 1950s, so we knew it would have Asbestos in the fibro-sheeting on the walls, but we didn’t think it would be in the roof. We had normal inspections done, but the loose-fill is sitting underneath insulation batts, so it wasn’t seen.”
In June 2015, the NSW Government announced a voluntary purchase and demolition program for NSW property owners with positive results for loose-fill Asbestos. The Government is also offering independent advice to affected homeowners on a voluntary basis on the adequacy of risk controls while living in an affected home.
Property owners have until August 1 to register their property for inspection with the Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Taskforce.
Regional Enviroscience has been working with the Department of Fair Trading to identify the presence of loose fill Asbestos in NSW Homes.
Director Juliet Duffy holds a Master of Sustainable Management from Sydney University and has been managing environmental health issues since 1988. Regional Enviroscience has a NATA Accredited Asbestos & hazardous materials laboratory and consults with organisations on occupational health.
Like those properties affected with loose fill Asbestos, Regional Enviroscience is based in regional NSW – Hunter Valley (Maitland), Central NSW (Dubbo & Orange) and the Riverina (Wagga).