Asbestos ‘Must Go’ From Public Buildings By 2062 Say UK MPs

28 Jul 2022

Asbestos ‘Must Go’ From Public Buildings By 2062 Say UK MPs

After 5,000 asbestos-related workplace deaths were recorded in 2019 alone in the UK , UK MPs have called for the substance to be removed from all public and commercial buildings within 40 years. This figure makes asbestos the biggest workplace killer, despite all types of the material being banned more than 20 years ago.

According to the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos may be present in 300,000 commercial buildings in the UK and many more residential homes. Right now, there is no long-term effort to commit to an asbestos removal and disposal plan, but there is growing pressure to formulate one sooner, rather than later.

Where Asbestos Is Found 

Before being banned, asbestos was used widely due to its heat and chemical-resistant properties. As such, it had many applications, such as:

  • Pipe & boiler lagging 

  • Car brake pads

  • Floor tiles

  • Insulation

The material is not considered to be harmful in large, undamaged pieces, however, when it is broken up, microscopic airborne fibres are released. These can then easily be inhaled or swallowed, leading to serious health issues like asbestosis and mesothelioma later in life. 

While admitting that ‘extreme exposures’ may be a rarity, the risks were likely to escalate as net-zero requirements will lead to many buildings being renovated in the coming decades. That said, it will require a clear and comprehensive strategy to be achieved.

A government committee spokesperson had this to say…

"Simple reliance on a set of regulations which devolve asbestos management to individual duty holders - the building owners or managers responsible for maintenance - will not be good enough. 

We need a pan-government and 'system-wide' strategy for the long-term removal of asbestos, founded on strong evidence of what is best from a scientific, epidemiological, and behavioural point of view."

Working Hard to Keep Irish People Safe Since 2001

Since OHSS was founded in 2001, we have been helping Irish people stay safe against the dangers of asbestos. The figures quoted show asbestos abatement is as important now as it has ever been and our team is on hand to assist with a wide range of asbestos-related matters. 

If you would like to know more about anything discussed here, please visit us at where you’ll find lots of useful information, as well as our full range of occupational hygiene services. Alternatively, give our team a call today on 01 6905907.