Testing for loose-fill asbestos insulation

Loose-fill asbestos insulation

Loose-fill asbestos is raw crushed asbestos, which was installed as ceiling insulation in an unknown number of pre-1980s NSW homes. Over time hazardous airborne fibres can move from the ceiling into living spaces.

Earlier experience in both NSW and the ACT has demonstrated that simply removing loose-fill asbestos from a ceiling cavity does not remove the enduring hazard.

The NSW Government, with input from a range of experts, has determined that demolition, comprehensive site remediation and disposal are the best ways to ensure the health and safety of the NSW community.

Testing your property

NSW Fair Trading does not recommend any untrained or unqualified person entering the roof cavity to take a sample of material that could contain loose-fill asbestos insulation.

Loose-fill asbestos cannot be confirmed by a visual inspection as there are other types of insulation that look similar.  For this reason, a sample of the material needs to be taken by a licensed asbestos assessor (LAA) and tested by an accredited laboratory to confirm the presence of loose-fill asbestos.

Homeowners are able to arrange their own private sample testing by an LAA and a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory test, to detect loose-fill asbestos insulation.

SafeWork NSW allows you to search for asbestos and demolition license holders, including LAAs. Enter your search requirements by selecting "licensed asbestos assessor" and the relevant region in NSW.

Should the test confirm the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation, Service NSW should be contacted immediately to find out about the options available. Visit our contact us page.

Private tests for strata

Strata premises built before 1980 may contain loose-fill asbestos insulation. If there is concern that the property contains loose-fill asbestos insulation, the scheme should arrange for a licensed asbestos assessor to conduct a sample test at their own expense. The scheme as a whole will be impacted should testing confirm the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation.

Should the test confirm the presence of loose-fill asbestos insulation, Service NSW should be contacted immediately to find out about the options available. Visit our contact us page.

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