UNSURE: Colin and Lenore Lindsay want to be sure their house is asbestos free.
UNSURE: Colin and Lenore Lindsay want to be sure their house is asbestos free. Allan Reinikka Rokaasbesto

Asbestos confusion mounts with conflicting reports on dates

WHEN Colin and Lenore Lindsay had their new home built in 1970, they were assured the new Hardiflex product being used to clad the house contained no asbestos.

"Can someone please sort out what is going on with the fibro and Hardiflex following the cyclone?" Mrs Lindsay said.

"We were told by the builder the building sheets were not the old Fibrolite sheets like they used on my parents' house, built by dad in the 1940s.

"But now we are being told any house built before 1990 in some reports and 1985 in others contains asbestos and needs special and expensive handling."

Mrs Lindsay says she remembers growing up in a Fibrolite asbestos house and the Hardiflex sheets used in her Frenchville home are different.

"Our understanding was it was wood fibre instead of asbestos fibres used in fibro," she said.

"As far as we're concerned, our exterior doesn't contain asbestos, but we're looking for clarification… we keep hearing different dates."

A testing laboratory was established at the Department of Agriculture on 25 Yeppoon Rd by Octief, which can test samples.

Current legislation means any fibro material prior to 1989 could contain asbestos but according to Octief asbestos services manager Brendan Worrell, it is impossible to put a blanket statement around dates.

If in doubt, double wrap a small sample - a 50 cent size is enough - and take it to the laboratory for analysis.

"People do need to take the necessary precautions but if they are a bit nervous, we have people who can come out and take the sample," Mr Worrell said.

For more information, call Octief on 1800 628 433.



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