Be­ware dan­gers of as­bestos at sites

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

FOL­LOW­ING re­ports from Hemel Hemp­stead that teenagers are climb­ing on as­bestos roof pan­els, I’d like to warn par­ents of the real po­ten­tial dan­gers to their chil­dren’s health.

As the Gen­eral Manager of the UK As­bestos Train­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (UKATA), I am all too aware of the preva­lence of as­bestos in many public ar­eas and build­ings, and the fact that chil­dren are us­ing the sites as play ar­eas is a huge cause for con­cern. Even though as­bestos is no longer used as a build­ing ma­te­rial it is the big­gest work­place killer in the UK and much of it still re­mains. When left undis­turbed it is harm­less,

but when as­bestos con­tain­ing ma­te­ri­als are dam­aged or dis­turbed (for in­stance by climb­ing on them) par­ti­cles are in­haled to po­ten­tially deadly ef­fect caus­ing such dis­eases as mesothe­lioma, an in­cur­able form of can­cer which doesn’t sur­face un­til up to 20 years af­ter ini­tial ex­po­sure.

Par­ents should be vig­i­lant as to their chil­dren play­ing around dis­used build­ings as there is a high like­li­hood they con­tain the deadly car­cino­gen. UKATA is the lead­ing train­ing body for the safe han­dling and re­moval of as­bestos; you can see our full list of cer­ti­fied train­ing providers and find out more about as­bestos at

CRAIG EVANS Gen­eral Manager, UKATA

(The UK As­bestos Train­ing As­so­ci­a­tion)

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