Asbestos – “A danger that is everywhere but appears nowhere at all!
“There are 6 million tonnes of asbestos spread across 1.5 million buildings in the UK, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population.”
These are just two of the frightening facts released this month in ResPublica’s report ‘Don’t Breathe In: Bridging the Asbestos Safety Gap’.
The report makes shocking reading, and with 94% of hospitals and 80% of schools containing high levels of asbestos, it highlights how the most vulnerable in our society are left at particular risk. In addition to the risks to nurses and teachers, it raises significant questions as it looks at the difference between UK asbestos legislation and that of Germany, wherein the UK permits its schoolchildren to breathe up to 10 times more airborne particles than they would in Germany. With research indicating that the risk of developing mesothelioma doubles every ten years before the age of 30 in which someone is exposed to asbestos, the figures are truly sobering.
Calling for changes in guidance, legislation and reporting, the report recommends the Health and Safety Executive improve the validity of its fatality figures by including occupational mortality of those over the age of 74 who have died from mesothelioma (currently not recorded), including school support staff such as caretakers, cleaners and secretaries, and by recording all past occupations rather than just the occupation at point of death. This would lead to a much more comprehensive view on the impacts of asbestos both in terms of realistic figures and a fuller range of occupations at greatest risk.
In addition to clarity regarding statistics, the report also makes the recommendation that, rather than assuming buildings are safe, they should be subject to periodic air monitoring in line with best international practice.
According to ResPublica, up until now the UK has fallen behind the likes of France, Germany, and the Netherlands in its ability to accurately measure airborne asbestos.
Alert Technology’s aim is to change this, working to firmly establish the UK as a leader in providing new technologies such as the ALERT PRO 1000 that will help reduce the risk of prolonged exposure to airborne asbestos.
To read a full copy of ResPublica’s report, click here.
To find out more about ALERT and our investment or distribution opportunities visit www.asbestos-alert.com or www.alerttechnologyltd.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or contact us directly:
Marketing & Communications Director
Alert Technology Ltd
01803-546262 / 07841-589749