John Rixon and his son Ben, 11, relax in the safety while they wait for tests for asbestos to be returned.
John Rixon and his son Ben, 11, relax in the safety while they wait for tests for asbestos to be returned.

A-test out today

By DAWN COHEN

A FAMILY forced to flee their Goonellabah home on Monday because of suspected asbestos dust will find out today if they have been exposed to the toxic fibres.

John Rixon and his three children were evacuated from their Department of Housing home after the department carried out renovations on a kitchen wall last Friday.

Mr Rixon believes the wall was made of asbestos.

Breathing in asbestos dust can cause potentially fatal lung disease.

The family lived in the house during the renovations and for three days thereafter.

Independent tests on the building fibres were conducted on Tuesday, and results emerge today.

The single parent said a Department of Housing technical officer, Alan Eggins, and a Work Cover investigator, Maurie Vierow, each told him, in separate conversations, that this should not have happened.

The Department of Housing asked Mr Rixon to open up the property for investigators.

But he was not provided with any protective clothing or advice on safety while on site, the former builder's labourer said.

Independent assessors will check the current safety of the house, and if the all clear is given, the family will return home over the weekend.



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