Asbestos was discovered by firefighters when tackling a blaze in a church hall in County Durham
Last week, asbestos was discovered by firefighters when tackling a blaze in a church hall in County Durham.
Residents and local government have raised concerns about the disturbance of the hazardous material, which is considered toxic and can cause Mesothelioma, and in some cases, death.
Leading asbestos management firm Lucion Environmental commented on the incident, in the hope of further raising awareness of asbestos in built environments. Lucion’s Patrick Morton stated:
“The fact that asbestos was found in a building of this type and age is no surprise, the material was widely used for roofing, insulation and other industrial purposes until as recently as the turn of the millennium.
We are all familiar with the grey, corrugated asbestos roofing used on many of our steel-framed industrial buildings. Normally low risk unless it’s moved or damaged, asbestos cement can explode under some conditions whilst subject to fire causing thousands of small pieces of debris to shower nearby areas. Likewise when this material is disturbed it also releases hazardous fibres into the environment.
Properly managed, asbestos fibres will cause little risk to the population at large, but as always with asbestos it is those who work most closely with the material who have the greatest exposure and carry the greatest risk of developing asbestos related illnesses. In this case that will be the firefighters who attended the incident and worked so hard to contain it.
The Fire Brigade Union offers balanced advice for its members on the likelihood of exposure to asbestos and the opportunity to record instances where they believe they were exposed to the material and, for anyone concerned. Lucion Environmental offer asbestos abatement consultancy and asbestos fibre air monitoring for business and building in the area where asbestos and disturbance is a concern. For more information please visit http://www.lucion.co.uk.