LawTalk Blog

Danger! Loose asbestos insulation in houses

Renovations and asbestos

The terror of finding asbestos in your home or neighborhood cannot be fully understood until it happens.

In Canberra recently a family was living in a 1972, three bedroom house in the suburb of Laythem found to be riddled with asbestos.  An asbestos assessor found every cupboard, every bedroom, the linen closet, the skirting board around the lounge room floor and the vents for ducted heating to contain asbestos.

Why does this nightmare never seem to end and what is being done about it?

Raw asbestos or brittle and loose asbestos is a time bomb for ordinary people living in ordinary houses.  It remains one of the world's largest health issues and we cannot underestimate the importance of eradicating it.

Unfortunately, many people have become complacent about the dangers of asbestos.  In November the Abbott Government and the ACT Government reached an agreement to deal with the issues.  It extended a $1 billion financial lifeline in the form of low interest loans to fund buy back and demolition of effected homes in Canberra.

The management of loose fill asbestos insulation is not just a problem however for Canberra.  It is common in South Australia too continue to see danger signs of asbestos being found in the demolition of homes.  We are yet unable to determine how many properties may be affected by loose fill asbestos in this State.  It is recommended to have inspections in ceiling spaces, sheds, fences and the like for anyone who may suspect or be concerned about the scope of asbestos in their home.

It is a matter of raising awareness and educating people rather than installing fear but it must be acknowledged that the dangers of asbestos have not gone away. 

If asbestos is found in your home then Andersons Solicitors recommends adding your name to its Asbestos Register which can be done free of charge and will result in an annual prompting of the necessity for a health check and provide for the storage of valuable information in relation to exposure to any asbestos product.  This will also facilitate any potential future claim for compensation should a dust disease eventuate.

Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to Australian Federal legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.

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