A Conduit of Mostly Non Mainstream News / Information – without Political Correctness…
Imported home insulation batts containing chemicals linked to cancer but used as part of the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme are still being sold today, an inquiry has heard.
The royal commission into the ill-fated scheme has for a second day looked into evidence that imported batts used in the national roll-out could pose health threats to homeowners.
The inquiry is looking at the deaths of four insulation installers who died when working under minimal supervision, before the scheme was cancelled in 2010.
Late yesterday, the commission heard from the founding member of the Polyester Insulation Manufacturers Association, Warrick Batt, who told the hearing about concerns about what he said were non-compliant batts imported from Asia to meet demand during the former Rudd government’s scheme five years ago.
Mr Batt, also from manufacturer Autex, said he suspected at the time they contained high levels of the chemical, formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer.
He told the hearing his company tested some samples.
“We purchased a hand-held formaldehyde meter and did some very basic testing of insulation packs that had come in from China and found very high levels of formaldehyde,” he said.
“The readings we took were either between 20 and 50 times higher between the highest of the recommended levels.”
He said he believed the material could continue to pose a health threat.
“My understanding is that it will continue to off-gas for quite some time,” he said.
Mr Batt said he tried to warn the former Government about the risk several times.
He agreed to try to find a sample for the commission.
This morning, Mr Batt told the hearing the material was still being sold.
“I have asked my state managers and they do report that there is product still available on the market that meets those criteria,” he said.
Questioned further by Commonwealth lawyer Damian O’Donovan, Mr Batt conceded the minister at the time, Peter Garrett, invited him to supply samples, but he declined.
Mr Batt said he did not have a sample to supply to the commission, but industry lawyer Michael Windsor said one could be obtained from elsewhere.
Mr Windsor told Commissioner Ian Hanger that the matter will be explored further.
“We would hope that from another source we would have something for you today,” Mr Windsor said.
Source: ABC News