Whilst it is common knowledge that old buildings throughout the country are likely to contain asbestos, it is perhaps surprising that one of the wealthiest and most famous buildings in the world also remains riddled with remnants of this archaic, deadly building material.
As a result of decades of neglect, Buckingham Palace faces a huge bill to refurbish and rid the Palace of the remaining asbestos found within its historic walls.
Whilst the use of asbestos in construction has been banned since 1999, the problem remains that this was one of the cheapest and most effective fire proofing building materials.
Buildings large and small, public or private, have been left with this unfortunate legacy. To provide a scale, it is estimated that up to 75% of the UK’s primary and secondary schools contain some form of asbestos materials within their make up.
Asbestos is an extremely dangerous substance when it is dry and flaky. As soon as the asbestos fibres break off become airbourne they can be inhaled by the unsuspecting victims.
The consequences of inhaling asbestos fibres for a small minority cannot be overstated. It only takes the inhalation of one single asbestos fibre to cause the incurable asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma in later life. This extremely violent cancer connected to asbestos exposure attacks the lining of the lungs and also the abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma sufferers experience debilitating, painful symptoms and face a limited life expectancy following diagnosis.
Whilst mesothelioma is the most well known form of asbestos related cancer, other conditions caused by asbestos exposure include asbestosis, asbestos related lung cancer, pleural thickening and pleural plaques.
Mesothelioma, asbestosis and the other conditions mentioned above should now be seen as conditions of the past, analogous to the good work done in removing polio from most countries throughout the world. However, such conditions not be completely eradicated until asbestos is no longer present throughout our buildings.
Eliminating the presence of asbestos from all buildings is an arduous task. Often the cost and impracticalities of removal halt or delay many such attempts. Efforts are being made to draft plans to remove asbestos. Examples include the National Union of Teachers, which has called for a proper and detailed long term strategy to focus on eradicating the remaining asbestos found within our country’s schools. This long term strategy should help to anticipate and reduce the costs involved in removing the threat of asbestos.
If you require assistance in pursuing a mesothelioma claim, or indeed any claim for asbestos disease compensation, 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.