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Standard fact sheet.

Questions for landlords and sellers 

Did you know properties constructed before 1980 may contain loose-fill asbestos insulation?

To assist their agent in managing or selling their property, homeowners should answer the following questions to help determine if their property is at risk:



What date was the property originally constructed?



Has the property been renovated since it was originally built? If so, when?



Are you aware of the presence of any loose-fill asbestos insulation in the property?



If yes, specify all locations where you believe loose-fill asbestos insulation is present.



Has a Licensed Asbestos Assessor inspected the property for loose-fill asbestos insulation?

If so, can you provide a copy of the report to your managing agent for reference?



If you are concerned about loose-fill asbestos in your property, you are encouraged to arrange ceiling testing through a licensed asbestos assessor.

Once you have had your property tested, please provide the test result to your agent.

If your property is tenanted, you should also advise the residents of the test result.

More information is available in the Loose-fill asbestos insulation section on the NSW Fair Trading website.

What is loose-fill asbestos insulation?  

This is insulation made from raw amosite or crocidolite asbestos that has been crushed into a fine state and installed in roof spaces as ceiling insulation.

If disturbed, asbestos fibres can move from the ceiling to other areas of the home, such as walls and sub-floor areas.

The fibres can also become airborne and breathed in or ingested which may cause health risks. Ensuring asbestos remains undisturbed and sealed off can minimise the risk of exposure.

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What is ‘Mr Fluffy’?  

During the 1960s and 1970s, pure loose-fill asbestos was sold as ceiling insulation for residential and commercial premises. A Canberra based company known as 'Mr Fluffy' installed this insulation in around 1,000 homes in the ACT.

Mr Fluffy is understood to have also installed insulation in homes in NSW. A second contractor, Bowsers Asphalt was identified in a 1969 ACT Health Services Branch report as using loose-fill asbestos for ceiling insulation, but only for large non-residential buildings.

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What are the health risks for residents in affected properties? 

The NSW Chief Health Officer has advised that living in a house with loose-fill asbestos will not confer any significant health risks provided that there is no meaningful exposure pathway to asbestos fibres. NSW Health acknowledges that this will place an onus on homeowners to continually maintain their house, not access their roof space, wall cavities and sub floor area and will require management if they want to renovate their home.

Given the continuing onus on homeowners to carefully maintain their properties, NSW Health also acknowledges that demolition of an affected house, comprehensive site remediation and appropriate disposal would remove any enduring health risk.

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Who is eligible for free sample testing? 

Free sample tests are being provided for homeowners across 28 local government areas (LGAs) to identify all affected premises. These LGAs have been identified through an analysis of archival government records.

As part of the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program, homeowners have until 1 August 2016 to register for a free loose-fill asbestos insulation sample test.

Owners with homes built before 1980 in these local government areas can register online for the free testing program or call Service NSW on 13 77 88 for more information.

A limited offer of free sample testing has been extended to an additional 35 local government areas in Southern NSW.

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Can I get free testing if my home is outside the identified local government areas? 

Even if you are not in an eligible area, if you pay for your own sample testing and the result is positive, you will be refunded the cost of the testing and as a homeowner, become eligible for assistance.

Homeowners should arrange sample testing through a licensed asbestos assessor.

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What action has been taken with the affected properties?  

All properties were eligible for free technical assessments to determine the adequacy of risk controls and any appropriate remedial action required. Technical assessments have been completed for a number of the properties identified as containing loose-fill asbestos fibres. The assessments include a housing assessment, dust sampling and air monitoring over a 7 day period to determine the risk of exposure.

The NSW Government is implementing a Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program comprised of a NSW Government purchase of premises and land, and a NSW Government purchase of premises only.

Owners of any NSW residential premises confirmed to contain loose-fill asbestos insulation are eligible to participate in the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program. More information is available on the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program page on the NSW Fair Trading website.

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What assistance is being provided to owners and tenants? 

Assistance is being provided to owners and tenants under the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program. This includes assistance with relocation, home contents, independent legal advice, stamp duty concessions and counselling services.

Visit the Assistance for owners and tenants page on the NSW Fair Trading website for more information.

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