Since the initial lockdown restrictions eased, there have been a worrying amount of reports of asbestos materials being dumped across the UK.
We recently reported about a West Lothian street where up to four tonnes of building materials, including asbestos materials, were dumped, causing roads to be closed while the Council arranged a safe clean up.
Sadly, this is not an isolated case and over the last couple of months there have been reports of asbestos being fly-tipped in Bulwell, Nottingham, in rural areas of Blackburn, near a business park at Market Harborough and three incidents at New Forest beauty spots.
Dangers of asbestos
Fly tipping of any materials is irresponsible and illegal. No matter what is dumped, it requires time and money to be cleaned up. The dumping of asbestos materials is another level of recklessness.
There are a number of conditions that can be caused by asbestos, including pleural thickening, asbestosis and pleural plaques. Usually, these conditions are seen in people who were heavily exposed to asbestos, such as laggers or workers from asbestos factories. Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, however, only requires minimal exposure to asbestos to develop, and so low-level exposure from fly tipping puts anyone in the vicinity at risk.
Thankfully, not everyone who is exposed to asbestos goes onto develop a condition but there is no way of knowing who will be affected and who will not. There is also a latency period of between 10 and 50 years between exposure to asbestos and the development of symptoms of an asbestos-related condition.
People who fly-tip asbestos waste are not only putting themselves at risk, but also those who discover and clean up the waste.
Asbestos removal by licenced professionals
Asbestos removal work should be done by licenced professionals. There are strict regulations for the removal and disposal of asbestos waste. If you have any asbestos that needs to be removed you should ensure you hire a licenced company and check their credentials. Most councils have a list of approved contractors you can use if you are unsure where to look.
If you are exposed to asbestos
If you think you have been exposed to asbestos recently, unfortunately there is nothing you can do to reduce the risk of developing an asbestos-condition in the future. However, you can take steps to ensure a condition is diagnosed early and that you will have an avenue for compensation.
- Advise your GP that you have been exposed to asbestos and have this put in your medical records. If you suffer with the potential symptoms of an asbestos-related condition in the future, your doctor can make the necessary investigations to rule out an asbestos disease.
- Obtain and keep the details of your exposure, take details of any witnesses. If you were exposed to asbestos at work, get details of your employer’s insurers as this is who will pay for a claim in the future.
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.