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Asbestos - the ticking time bomb

It is nearly 25 years since the use of asbestos was banned in the construction of new public buildings in the UK, but the consequences of its widespread use between the 1930s and 1980s are now being felt, with a rapid rise in the number of cases of mesothelioma – a fatal disease with an average life expectancy after diagnosis of just 12 months.

Asbestos was widely used as a fire prevention measure most commonly in walls, ceilings and floor tiles – usually being mixed in the open air with water into a paste, which allowed particles of asbestos fibres to escape into the atmosphere and become readily breathable by all those who came into contact with it.

More recently its use in public buildings, particularly schools and hospitals, which are now showing signs of wear and tear with asbestos fragments escaping into the atmosphere, has meant those working, studying or visiting such buildings including teachers and students are at risk of exposure on a daily basis.  A 2019 Department of Education survey found 81% of schools had asbestos in place.

This has led The Times to launch its campaign ‘Act now on Asbestos‘, calling for the removal of all asbestos from public buildings as a first step towards reducing these risks.

Steve Green, Head of Personal Injury & Group Actions at Fosters Solicitors, said “Sadly, The Times initiative confirms what those of us who have worked in personal injury have known for a long time – that the use of asbestos in many public buildings is widespread and that it is a ticking time bomb for those millions of people who have been exposed to it either in schools or hospitals.

“We fully support the ‘Act Now on Asbestos’ campaign along with the work of Airtight on Asbestos, a group which campaigns for its removal from public buildings.”

If you have suffered injury from any asbestos-related condition you may have a claim for personal injury.

To find out more information and to arrange a no obligation first meeting or chat, please contact our Personal Injury team via email, or by calling 01603 620508.

Our vastly experienced team in industrial disease claims are able to advise and guide you through every aspect of your claim, please visit our service pages for more information.

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This article was produced on the 19th July 2023 by our Personal Injury & Group Actions team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.