ACT Asbestos Health Study

The ACT Government in partnership with the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health has announced that an ACT Asbestos Health Study will take place over the next two  years  to gain additional understanding regarding the risk of developing mesothelioma from living in a house containing loose fill amosite asbestos.

There are 1022 known residential properties affected by loose fill ‘Mr Fluffy’ amosite asbestos insulation in the ACT. While the mesothelioma rate is low in the ACT, at around 10 cases per year, concerns have been raised by residents about the potential health impacts associated with living and in some cases, renovating, loose-fill asbestos homes.

In 2014 multiple health forums were held for concerned residents and during one of these forums, residents enquired about ACT-specific research into the health impacts associated with loose-fill asbestos. In response to this, independent researchers from the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health have been contracted by the ACT Government to undertake an ACT Asbestos Health Study.

There are four parts to the study:

  1. A review of mesothelioma rates and distribution in the ACT.
  2. Focus groups held with current and recent residents of affected houses to discuss their health-related concerns (participation will be voluntary).
  3. A study looking at the likely exposure levels of current and recent residents in terms of years lived in an affected house and activities such as renovating.
  4. A study linking a number of data sets to estimate the risk of developing mesothelioma in current and former residents of affected houses compared with the general population.

The research is being undertaken by highly regarded and experienced independent researchers from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University in consultation with external experts in cancer epidemiology.

Current ‘Mr Fluffy’ homeowners (being those Eligible for the ACT Government’s Buyback Program) can register their interest in taking part in this study by contacting the Asbestos Response Taskforce, on 13 22 81 or at asbestostaskforce@act.gov.au, noting in doing so you are providing the Taskforce with permission to provide your name, address and contact details to the ANU Researchers.

To be referred to the ANU Health Study, consider recording your details through the Taskforce E-register.

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