Loose-fill asbestos insulation scheme: The story so far

Specialist Asbestos & Hazardous Materials Consultants. Servicing Sydney & NSW

Loose-fill asbestos insulation scheme: The story so far

THE STORY SO FAR:

Loose-fill asbestos insulation is made from raw unbonded asbestos. In the 1960’s and 1970s this asbestos was pumped into the ceilings in an unknown number of NSW properties. The asbestos insulation was commonly referred to as “Mr Fluffy” as the common commercial supplier of the product. The airborne nature of the product was a major concern as insulation and fibres can migrate over the years to wall cavities, floor spaces, and air conditioning ducts affectively contaminating a large area of the property.

In June 2015, the NSW government set aside $250 million dollars on the voluntary home buyback scheme. Homeowners in NSW were sent mailed letters informing them of the free loose-fill asbestos insulation inspections and buyback scheme, they were given up until October 2016 to register for the scheme. As it stands today 97,845 properties are registered with the scheme with 82% of them being tested. The NSW government estimates that testing will be completed by the end of 2017 for the registered properties.

THE RESULTS SO FAR

The NSW government has a register online which has a breakdown of the samples taken and positive results by local government areas (Councils) which can be found here.

Looking at the results you can see that 56,818 tests have been completed with 140 of those tests coming back positive for loose-fill asbestos insulation. That comes to a percentage of 0.25% of properties coming back positive for loose-fill asbestos insulation.

If we look at the breakdown per local government district we can see that the majority of those positive results are coming from rural New South Wales.

Three rural council districts account for 84% of the 140 positive test results.

Berrigan Shire Council – 20
reater Hume Shire Council – 38
Queanbeyan City Council – 60

There have been a few scattered positive test results in Sydney, but that 0.25% positive test rate is highly skewed towards rural areas.

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WHAT TO DO GOING FORWARD IF YOU’RE STILL CONCERNED?

If you think your property may have asbestos loose-fill insulation, a licensed asbestos assessor registered with WorkCover NSW will be best suited to safely take a sample and assess the roof space. Envirovision Consulting has licensed asbestos assessors able to take samples and get them processed through NATA accredited facilities with a quick turnaround for your peace of mind. Give us a call on (02) 9191 7394 or send us a message by clicking here and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.

Note: NSW Department of Fair Trading have a public register of known properties containing loose-fill asbestos insulation which can be found by clicking here.

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