On 12th May fire crews were dispatched to an out of control, unattended bonfire in Lower Ossington, Cornwall.
After the event, a spokesperson from Cornwall Fire and Rescue said, “Due to what was being burnt on the fire, crews then had to decontaminate on scene. Asbestos was found to be within the fire. No crews were put at risk due to the following of standard hazmat procedure as chemicals were suspected. The crew wore appropriate kit to protect them”.
It was later discovered that the bonfire included corrugated roof panels which are suspected to contain some level of asbestos. Samples were taken for testing.
The fire crews clearly know what they are doing and carried out their work safely.
Firestarters put themselves at risk of exposure to asbestos
What is extremely worrying about this story is that whoever set the fire would put themselves and others at risk of being exposed to asbestos. They clearly have no regard for the safety of others, particularly as during the COVID-19 lockdown there is a ban on bonfires to prevent the emergency services being called out if they get out of hand.
Risk of developing mesothelioma
Although corrugated asbestos sheets, when undamaged, are low risk asbestos products, they do still carry a risk. If someone handling these sheets were to inhale asbestos dust or fibres from them, they would be at risk of developing the incurable asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma has a latency period of between 10 and 50 years, meaning that if those involved were exposed to asbestos, they wouldn’t have symptoms of mesothelioma for many years.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or 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.