Loose-fill asbestos was sold as ceiling insulation In the 1960s and 1970s, for residential and commercial premises mainly by one company trading in the ACT as Mr Fluffy. While most properties impacted are located in the ACT, a small number of properties in south east NSW have been identified as containing this type of insulation.
The insulation is raw asbestos that has been crushed into a fine state and installed in the ceiling space. This means it is easy to disturb and fibres can become airborne and easily inhaled or ingested which can cause significant health risks.
Testing of homes with loose-fill asbestos insulation has shown that exposure is likely to be very low if the asbestos is undisturbed and remains sealed off at all points where entry of asbestos into living areas can occur (including cornices, architraves, around vents, around light fittings, manholes and tops of cupboards).
Home owners should not undertake any refurbishment work that requires alteration to any walls, ceilings, wall sockets or removal of cornices, no cabling (unless surface mounted) or additional sockets/outlets recessed in walls and avoid accessing subfloor areas until a further assessment under controlled conditions can be conducted.
A licensed asbestos assessor
or an occupational hygienist will be able to advise you whether your living spaces are well sealed and asbestos hazards are appropriately controlled.
Only qualified tradespeople with asbestos awareness training can work on any areas identified with asbestos. Removal of loose-fill asbestos fibres may only be done by a class A licensed asbestos removalist
We also recommend that an asbestos warning sticker be placed in the electrical metre box to alert any trades people who might attend your property.
More information on where asbestos can be found in and around the home can be found at asbestosawareness.com.au
or call WorkCover on 13 10 50.