Protester shocked by asbestos test results
TESTING has found there is ‘no evidence of significant risk’ to people living close to what was once the world’s biggest asbestos factory.
Just one fibre of asbestos was discovered during an 18-month survey of air levels around the old Turner Brothers site.
But the findings, which were published on Monday, have been called into question by campaigners who described them as ‘breath-taking.’
The Rochdale council-commissioned test took samples from four permanent monitoring stations, including one at nearby Falinge Park High School, and five temporary stations around the site between August 2015 to March 2017.
Andrea Fallon, Rochdale council’s director of public health and wellbeing, said: “The results from the council commissioned monitoring of airborne asbestos fibres around the perimeter of the former Turner Brother Asbestos site are now available to residents.
“The results from the independent monitoring of airborne asbestos fibres at the site have been reviewed and we did not find any evidence of any significant risk to the health of those residing in areas surrounding the site. The report has been shared with Public Health England who fully support these findings.”
But asbestos campaigner Jason Addy called the results into question.
He said: “The results are breath-taking. They suggest that the air around what was once the world’s biggest asbestos factory is some of the world’s cleanest. A previous report confirmed that there are tens of thousands of tonnes of asbestos on the site - this is Ground Zero for asbestos in the world.
“But I don’t want to be negative. At this stage what we need to see is all the detail so we have the opportunity to question it.
“We know that asbestos kills, it has already killed far too many. There are Rochdalians suffering with mesothelioma right now, but let’s put all the emotion to the side and let’s deal with the facts. All we have ever asked for is robust science to establish the facts.”
Specialist Didsbury-based firm Bureau Veritas was commissioned by the council to carry out the tests to establish if the old factory, one of the most controversial derelict sites in Greater Manchester, posed a risk to public health.
In 2011 Rochdale council refused planning permission for a £100m scheme to build 600 homes on the Spodden Valley site.
●●Testing has found ‘no evidence of significant risk’ to people living near the former Turner Brothers Asbestos site, results campaigner Jason Addy (inset) described as ‘breath-taking’