How can I understand my risk?
All urban residents are exposed to low levels of asbestos in the environment, including from natural sources, industrial material and buildings.
The ACT Chief Health Officer has advised that the risk of developing asbestos related disease increases in proportion to the total number of fibres a person breathes in during their lifetime.
Most people who develop an asbestos related medical condition have been exposed to high concentrations of fibres, or exposed over many years, in occupational settings like mining, construction and machinery shops.
In general typical exposure scenarios for Mr Fluffy loose fill asbestos include:
VERY LOW RISK - General public - asbestos is a naturally occurring substance and the air has a low level of asbestos fibres.
VERY LOW RISK - Visitors/ Neighbours/Care and Service Providers - short periods of exposure.
LOW RISK - Former Residents - depending on condition of the houses, length of residence, safe renovation and home maintenance activity.
LOW TO MEDIUM RISK - Tradespeople – short periods of exposure while working in an affected house carries a low risk and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) reduces the risk even further. However, cumulative exposure to asbestos fibres over time and/or activity undertaken without appropriate PPE safety equipment would increase risk.
For Further Information
- Check the list.
- Access supporting information, in particular:
- ACT Asbestos Health Study - Australian National University
- Dealing with the emotional impact of the Mr Fluffy legacy - presentation by Dr Rob Gordon
- Health and Support InfoSheets
- If you feel anxious or concerned access support through your General Practitioner, ACT Medicare Local on 6287 8066, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.