The Houses of Parliament are due to undergo extensive refurbishment, due to the dilapidated condition of the famous, gothic revival building. A committee of MPs is likely to recommend that Members of Parliament and peers should relocate to another building for up to six years, so that repairs, costing an estimated four billion pounds can be carried out.
The Palace of Westminster, as the building is officially named, has not undergone any extensive renovation since it was completed in 1870. Major renovations are required to the plumbing, heating and electrical systems and the stonework requires extensive repairs.
One particularly concerning issue is that asbestos is present throughout the building. Before the risks associated with exposure to asbestos fibres was realised, it was widely used in the construction industry, well into the second half of the 20th Century.
At the Houses of Parliament asbestos was extensively used during rebuilding that was required after the Second World War. It is present in insulation within the fabric of the building as well as in the form of lagging on pipework and fire linings. Construction workers carrying out this work may well have suffered exposure to asbestos, particularly those involved in lagging pipes.
Asbestos is present in many buildings still in use today. Use of asbestos was only banned completely in the UK in 1999.
Where asbestos is undisturbed, it poses no risk. However in a building in a state of disrepair, such as the Houses of Parliament, materials containing asbestos may become damaged and friable over time, causing asbestos fibres to float around in the general atmosphere. At this point it becomes hazardous as dangerous asbestos fibres can then be breathed in.
When the Houses of Parliament are refurbished, asbestos will need to be removed or safely encased so that it cannot be disturbed. This work will have to be carried out by a licenced asbestos removal company. The operatives carrying out the removal will need to wear disposable protective overalls and respirators fitted with battery operated filters, to avoid being exposed to asbestos fibres.
Asbestos is classified as a category 1 carcinogen. Sadly, there are around 5000 deaths each year in the UK caused by asbestos related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos related lung cancer. Thousands more people suffer a deterioration in their health from these conditions which often lead to debilitating breathing problems. Such symptoms can also affect those diagnosed with asbestos related pleural thickening and in some circumstances, asbestos related pleural plaques.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition our specialist asbestos disease solicitors will be able to assist you. If you were negligently exposed to asbestos fitting or removing asbestos products, or in any other work environment, you may be entitled to bring a no win-no fee claim for asbestos compensation. Our team has succeeded in recovering asbestos compensation in hundreds of cases over the years. See our team’s Trustpilot reviews online for further information on what past clients thought of the level of service they received in their asbestos claim.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or any other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.