Released 1 August 2014
Canberrans can now easily register any potential exposure they may have had to loose-fill asbestos in Mr Fluffy homes through the National Asbestos Exposure Register.
The Register, managed by the Australian Government's Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, records details of members of the Australian community who report they may have been exposed to materials containing asbestos.
The register monitors risks within the community and data captured is used to target awareness campaigns, support materials and inform policy and research about asbestos safety in Australia.
Head of the Asbestos Response Taskforce Mr Andrew Kefford said the register had previously only listed fields to report general exposure to asbestos in the home or work place. This had caused frustration for some local residents wanting to register their details but feeling as though it did not accurately capture their circumstances around loose-fill asbestos.
"This issue was raised at a community forum last month by residents in affected homes and we committed to review the situation," Mr Kefford said. "We are very pleased to have worked with the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to quickly make this amendment."
Residents can now simply mark that their possible exposure relates to loose-fill asbestos in Mr Fluffy homes and also the number of years they resided at the property.
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Chief Executive Officer Mr Tighe said the Agency had been pleased to work with the Taskforce to amend the register, as well as provide other support and advice.
"The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency provides a national focus on asbestos issues which go beyond workplace safety to encompass environmental and public health issues," Mr Tighe said.
"I am pleased we have been able to make the change to the National Asbestos Exposure Register to allow ACT residents to more accurately document the source of potential exposure to asbestos. This will provide more complete documentation into the future and reflects the unique situation regarding loose-fill asbestos exposure in the ACT.
"I encourage those who believe they have been exposed to record their details on the register on the National Asbestos Exposure Register," Mr Tighe concluded.
Mr Kefford also reminded residents that providing details to the National Register did not replace the need to register with the local Taskforce for support and advice.
"We now have more than 1700 registrations with the Taskforce and I urge any residents who are in known Mr Fluffy houses to register with us if you haven’t already so we can best support you and your needs," Mr Kefford concluded.