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Should Mr Fluffy be a cause for concern?

By IslandDreaming - 13 June 2014 31

asbestos

Another day, another report in the Canberra Times regarding a ‘Mr Fluffy’ house.

I am at a loss why the ACT Government has had very little to say on the ‘Mr Fluffy’ issue. For that matter, I’m surprised there has been very little in the way of posts on here regarding it too. Is everybody hoping this all just blows over? The health issues resulting from this are potentially enormous; not just for the residents of a loose fill asbestos house, but for tradies, friends, and families of the residents who have been in the house and possibly neighbouring houses.

There is no standardisation over the assessment or removal process, nor is there any public information available regarding health assessment of residents. As far as I understand it, this problem doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Mr Fluffy was the only company to use this type of loose fill asbestos.

If you are renting, you may not know if you are in a Mr Fluffy house thanks to the ACT Government protecting the rights of the owners instead of considering the health implications to the renters.

As a concerned mother, it’s possible I’m blowing this out of all proportion. Is this something we should be worried about?

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Should Mr Fluffy be a cause for concern?
1
Alien Fiend 4:31 pm
13 Jun 14
#

Of course we should worry about asbestos. We should also worry about building “inspections” which are not worth the paper they are written on and only serve a useful purpose for those who get the job to do them. The vendor just wants to sell the house and couldn’t care less and the purchaser just wants to buy the house and takes the report in good faith (and has to pay for it).

A typical comment from my last inspection report: “There was no evidence of [insert vermin/termites/asbestos/leaks etc]. This is based on visual inspection [visual?] and this does not mean that [insert vermin/termites ….. etc] is/are not present …. Oh, and if they are, it ain’t our fault”. $750 please – it was some time ago.

According to the CT report, the Lyons house had open penetrations. I’d like to know who inspected that property so that I can at least avoid that company next time I sell.

I feel very sorry for the Ross family. That have been dudded by a stupid system.

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2
sepi 5:49 pm
13 Jun 14
#

The ACT was under federal control when the Mr Fluffy houses were cleaned out. the process is now shown to be incomplete and the feds should step in (or be sued to do so) and fix them up again – or demolish.

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3
switch 5:50 pm
13 Jun 14
#

Alien Fiend said :

A typical comment from my last inspection report: “There was no evidence of [insert vermin/termites/asbestos/leaks etc]. This is based on visual inspection [visual?] and this does not mean that [insert vermin/termites ….. etc] is/are not present …. Oh, and if they are, it ain’t our fault”. $750 please – it was some time ago.

I got the same building report (and I don’t think I was buying your house).

Asbestos is a worry. Anyone growing up until the seventies walking on a main road would have breathed in asbestos fibres from the brake linings of all trucks and cars. Trains used them too. Anyone walking on the main roads in Asia now is still getting it. The Mr Fluffy nonsense has made a lot of homes in the ACT very hard to sell or even work on. The cleaning process seems to have created a lot of undocumented asbestos dumps around the ACT, many new housing estates being held up when they find one. What are we going to do?

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4
banco 6:42 pm
13 Jun 14
#

Leaving aside the health concerns if your house has it you won’t be able to sell it. So yeah that would be a worry.

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5
HiddenDragon 7:02 pm
13 Jun 14
#

sepi said :

The ACT was under federal control when the Mr Fluffy houses were cleaned out. the process is now shown to be incomplete and the feds should step in (or be sued to do so) and fix them up again – or demolish.

Nice as that would be, it’s highly unlikely that this, or any future federal government would pay all, or even a substantial part of the cost – pushing self-government onto the ACT was primarily about saving money for the federal budget, and offloading all the local liabilites that go with this town.

I think the problem is so big, and so horrible, that the ACT Government really doesn’t want to know about it. In the meantime, anyone buying a home old enough to have had loose fill asbestos in it is taking a chance.

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6
Tezza7420 9:17 am
14 Jun 14
#

I’m surprised too as this is a very bid deal for all Canberrans not just the owners of these houses. This stuff is not like normal asbestos sheeting and it wasn’t used like this anywhere else in the world. IT’S REALLY BAD STUFF!

Most likely nearly everyone in Canberra will have come in contact with a Mr Fluffy house. You might be a neighbour, a visitor, an emergency worker, or have received or bought something that was once in a Mr Fluffy home and of course everyone knows of the risks for tenants and tradespeople.

There is a Fluffy Owners and Residents Action Group website at http://www.fluffyaction.com/390249636 and a Friends of Fluffy Owners Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/fluffyaction where you can read more information and read about the stories of affected homeowners.

The poor owners either bought these houses not even knowing about this stuff or they were told by the Government that it had been “safely” removed. Now many are finding that this stuff is all through their houses and their contents, underneath their houses and even that the soil on their property is contaminated. If the homeowners are “lucky” enough to stay in their houses, they can’t even get minor work done like changing lights or power points or even putting a nail hole in a wall. Many of these owners look like they are increasingly isolating themselves from the community because they don’t want to invite people in, let other children play with their own and can’t talk to anyone about their problem.

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7
gazket 3:15 pm
14 Jun 14
#

Building inspectors are not asbestos inspectors so will have a get out clause if asbestos is found. You really need an extra asbestos inspection report. And then you need a good inspector because OHS laws will prevent some inspectors looking above 2.4m if they don’t have height safe training so they will also have a get out height clause.

The Australian government says asbestos isn’t found in houses after 1985 when really it’s 1988 and still after that some maybe found as asbestos products were still able to be sold until 2000 so companies could clear stock.

They whole asbestos thing is one big circle jerk. As far as laws go you’re better of not reporting you found asbestos as you who got caught with the parcel last will bear all the costs even if it means sending you bankrupt.

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8
screaming banshee 6:22 pm
14 Jun 14
#

After moving to canberra as a tradesman who could well have ended up knee deep in the stuff, I didn’t hear about mr fluffy until I had been here for about 4 years, even now other trades I speak with have little knowledge of its existence.

As a minimum we need an education campaign and legal requirements for affected homes to have a warning notice. Ideally these houses should be purchased by the govt at market rate to be dismantled safely. Then the land, once cleared, to be sold off to recoup some the costs.

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9
John Moulis 10:43 am
15 Jun 14
#

I remember in early 1979 I was the mailroom boy at Superannuation Fund Investment Trust, part of Dept of Finance. I had to open the mail and attach distribution lists before delivering it to the relevant officers. One of the companies we invested in was James Hardie and a few weeks earlier The Sun Herald had published an article about asbestos being “a possible health risk”. Hardies sent us a copy of their latest prospectus with a pamphlet titled “Asbestos – Scotching the Myths”. It’s a pity I didn’t snaffle the pamphlet at the time because I’m sure it would be very amusing reading nowadays.

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10
switch 11:34 am
15 Jun 14
#

John Moulis said :

Hardies sent us a copy of their latest prospectus with a pamphlet titled “Asbestos – Scotching the Myths”. It’s a pity I didn’t snaffle the pamphlet at the time because I’m sure it would be very amusing reading nowadays.

Just get any similarly purposed tobacco pamphlet and substitute the word asbestos…

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11
JC 12:16 pm
15 Jun 14
#

switch said :

The cleaning process seems to have created a lot of undocumented asbestos dumps around the ACT, many new housing estates being held up when they find one. What are we going to do?

Actually most of the dumps that have been found are building waste dumps from when Canberra was being built, rather than asbestos dumps. Though yes they contain asbestos. For the most part the dumps contain asbestos sheeting, which is found in most Canberra homes built before the mid 80’s.

In fact I would say the biggest threat from asbestos is the rise in the home renovator.

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12
Weaselburger 1:45 pm
15 Jun 14
#

Actually you will find that there are many policies and procedures legislated for the detection, management and removal of asbestos covered in the Work Health and safety Act 2011 which apply to both commercial and residential buildings… info for the A.C.T can be found at:

http://www.asbestos.act.gov.au/

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13
IslandDreaming 10:26 pm
15 Jun 14
#

Weaselburger said :

Actually you will find that there are many policies and procedures legislated for the detection, management and removal of asbestos covered in the Work Health and safety Act 2011 which apply to both commercial and residential buildings… info for the A.C.T can be found at:

http://www.asbestos.act.gov.au/

Thanks for the information. If this is correct, then there are significant deficiencies in monitoring the removal specialists. There are reported cases of assessors using false detection techniques and remidiators using dodgy methods. The governments (federal and state), have not taken any action against these companies who are taking advantage of those in need. Some of these companies are listed by ACTPLA with class A licences.

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14
candelabra 1:34 pm
16 Jun 14
#

This article has popped up at exactly the moment I was looking into the issue of asbestos. Can anyone advise the best way to get an accurate report of whether or not there is asbestos present in my house?

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15
gazket 5:00 pm
16 Jun 14
#

candelabra said :

This article has popped up at exactly the moment I was looking into the issue of asbestos. Can anyone advise the best way to get an accurate report of whether or not there is asbestos present in my house?

if your house is pre 1988 check the bathroom, toilet ,laundry, kitchen areas. If it’s fibro, dimpled on the back it’s asbestos sheeting.
Old style timber joining/cover strips, probably joining asbestos sheeting.
Old vinyl tiles with black glue. The glue is probably asbestos.
Sheeting behind, beside, underneath old oil heaters probably asbestos sheeting.
Old electrical wiring insulated in cloth, the cloth is most likely asbestos cloth.
Dark blue fluffy insulation probably Mr Fluffy.
Old wavy profile ( super 66 ) roof sheeting is asbestos.

And just recently 2011 2012 Chery and Great Wall cars over 30 gaskets that contain asbestos.

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