A few nights ago the demolition of homes in Canberra was announced on the news. These homes are being demolished because of Mr Fluffy, a loose-fill asbestos in the roof cavity, that was installed as insulation during the 1970’s.
I had not been following the story at all until last night when the gravity of what was happening really dawned on me. These homes were being demolished! Demolished. They are unfit to live in, unable to be cleaned, and unable to be saved. I couldn’t believe it.
Now that we are homeowners, I could not imagine anything worse than having to have our home demolished.
Mr Fluffy is a nickname used to refer to both the asbestos product (A loose fill fibrous asbestos that was blown into the roof cavities of homes in the ACT) and the companies that installed it. There were two companies responsible for the Mr Fluffy installation, AsbestosFluf Insulation and it’s successor J&H Insulation.
At the time of the installation the evidence was not yet certain about the danger posed to the wider community from asbestos, but rumours were growing and reports were starting to come in, ‘Consider dissuading or even banning Jansen from using it.’
The ACT Health Services Branch made provision for free health checks including x-rays for the installers of the insulation, and went so far as to issue a public warning to installers in 1971 of its potential health effects.
In the Australian Capital Territory, more than 30,000 homes may have been affected by the installation of Mr Fluffy products in the 1960’s and 70’s.
The Asbestos that was blown into the floor cavities of homes around Canberra is so dangerous to remove that not even professional Asbestos removalists are willing to take up the job.
During the demolition process that was begun a few days ago, already things are going wrong. The asbestos has been even harder to contain than predicted. Even professionals can make mistakes – and they are meant to be the best.
The demolition of a Mr Fluffy house last month reportedly created large plumes of asbestos-contaminated dust, exposing a WorkSafe inspector to the deadly fibres, ACT NEWS. It seems like the asbestos did not breach the perimeter of the home, but there where a few people onsite that were effected. ‘At least three workers, including a WorkSafe inspector, were exposed to the fibres as a result. They immediately decontaminated themselves and sealed their clothes in bags.’
When asbestos is being removed, it is very difficult to contain loose fibres outside, in the air. Asbestos fibres were very light and could sit in the air for up to three days before settling.
I would hire a professional asbestos removalist in an instant!