It’s well-known that exposure to asbestos can cause a number of health issues, the most serious of which are mesothelioma (asbestos-related lung cancer) and asbestosis.
Despite the dangers associated with the material, it’s still present in many buildings around the UK having been used extensively as a building material in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The current Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) don’t go far enough to protect people who are at risk of exposure in their workplace, one organisation has argued.
In its white paper, Lucion Services asserts that tighter asbestos controls are required, because the older asbestos containing materials become, the more of a risk they pose to those working in the environment.
Among the suggestions made in the report are to use modern air monitoring and analytical techniques to assess the potential danger to people at any given time.
This would allow organisations to tackle the most dangerous asbestos containing materials first, with Lucion Services acknowledging that removing all asbestos from the country’s buildings would be a huge job and one that’s financially unviable.
Charles Pickles, author of the report, commented: “In the short and medium term, following the example set by countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands, the focus should therefore be on the improved management of asbestos in schools and other buildings.”
This could involve running extra asbestos awareness courses in the UK to ensure those who are most likely to come into contact with the substance know how to protect themselves and what to do.
According to the Asbestos Information Centre, some of the most common asbestos containing materials include artex, asphalt roofing, caulking, insulation materials, plaster, storage heaters and vinyl tiles, among many others.