Asbestos Dumping on the Rise?
A few years ago entering the phrase “asbestos dumping” into a popular search engine online would have proved fairly difficult to find any news, stats or information about the when and where the dumping of asbestos was happening. Try this now and you will be astounded about how many search results appear, not just identifying locations of dumping but full reports about who and when.
This makes for concerning reading as more and more articles and reports are being put online every day. Roberts Jackson has identified that in the last month there have been at least 10 reports of asbestos dumping in the UK. We all know that fly tipping, dumping, call it what you will, is damaging to the environment but I bet you are wondering what impact asbestos dumping could be having?
To put it into context we have looked at the impact of the “Armley Asbestos Disaster” that happened in the first 50 years of the 1900’s. Armley is a small residential estate in Leeds and up until 1959 housed one of the biggest asbestos factories in the UK, owned by Turner and Newall group. Unknown to the residents of Armley were the dangers of asbestos exposure, later discovered when it was banned in the 70’s and 80’s. Children used to make snowballs out of the white asbestos that riddled the air and lined windowsills of nearby houses. Bags of asbestos were dumped outside the factory and no measures were taken to prevent the fallout of asbestos from the factory.
The result –The highest rates of Mesothelioma (an aggressive asbestos related cancer) in the UK have been reported in Armley along with 300 deaths of former employees of the Turner and Newall Group.
With this in mind, the dangers of asbestos dumping are evidently a cause for concern for Britons. It is not only the impact on health but the financial implications it has. 393 houses in Armley were surveyed for contamination and in 2008 a further 610 were checked at a cost of £9.3 million for complete decontamination.
Working around asbestos in the present day is usually for removal purposes and protective equipment and training is normally provided. This is where the dumping of asbestos becomes an issue. Residents of nearby homes are at higher risk than most as people don’t usually take a stroll with protective equipment on, children do not play out with their friends in suits and gas masks and pets such as dogs will investigate anything given the chance. We would urge anyone that is aware of any dumping to report it to their local authority and the police so a full investigation can be made.
The people working with asbestos regularly are at the highest risk of contracting a related disease but anyone who may wash clothing for a family member or a loved one is also at risk of inhaling asbestos fibres. We would urge anyone who has been exposed to asbestos either through work, washing overalls of someone who works around asbestos, or has come in contact with a dump site, that you visit your GP to get checked.
Roberts Jackson Solicitors can offer free legal advice and run a compensation claim for you or your loved ones if there are grounds for it. If you would like to discuss an asbestos related matter with one of our experienced solicitors simply fill in the claim form on the right hand side or call 0800 001 4496.