ACT asbestos plague grows
ACT Health has confirmed two cases of lung cancer appear to be linked to asbestos insulation.
Two people linked to Canberra houses containing the now-notorious Mr Fluffy insulation have reportedly been diagnosed with mesothelioma; a form of cancer caused by asbestos inhalation.
The ACT Health Directorate says it will investigate the cases after they were brought to it attention by the Fluffy Owners and Residents' Action Group.
Canberra has a serious asbestos issue, with recent reports indicating more than 1,000 houses in the city have loose-fill amosite asbestos filling their roof space, after it was ‘installed’ by the Mr Fluffy company in the nineteen-sixties and -seventies.
There have been no more details released on the two most recent cases, but they come just a week after the same government body announced it had been informed of dangerous asbestos content in five more Canberra public houses.
There have been large Commonwealth-funded clean-up programs in the decades since dumping loose asbestos as insulation stopped being common practice, but repeated revelations show the potentially deadly fibres are still out there.
The issue may not go away any time soon for the ACT Government, which is now working out whether public homes can be fixed or must be demolished.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher is pushing for a decision in coming weeks to make some resolution for families, which continue to have to leave their homes when asbestos is found in living areas.
Fluffy Owners and Residents' Action Group spokesperson Brianna Heseltine says recent meetings have been “very positive”, but a national solution to the insulation problem is still on the horizon.
“There's a long road ahead but I'd like to think it wouldn't be too long,” Ms Heseltine said after meeting with the federal minister responsible for the asbestos issue, Eric Abetz
“Time is of the essence, we are living in Fluffy homes and we don't want to be there,” she said.
Mr Abetz is understood to be seeking briefings and advice on the issue, but is yet to make public comment.