The NI Housing Executive has revealed that hundreds of homes in Northern Ireland have been found to contain asbestos, with 5000 more to be inspected.
They are currently in the process of removing asbestos from the existing homes.
Andy Allen, Ulster Unionist representative said, “This means that effectively, tenants living in 326 properties are barred from going into parts of their homes, like their lofts, on health and safety grounds.”
Asbestos has been banned in the UK since the year 2000, but up until then it was commonly used in the construction of buildings as insulation and also in flooring and roofs.
Lots of people that worked in the construction industry as plumbers, joiners and electricians have since developed illnesses relating to asbestos exposure as a direct result.
Asbestos related illnesses include mesothelioma which affects the lining of the lungs, asbestosis, asbestos related cancer and non malignant pleural disease.
The problem with all of these illnesses is that it can take decades for any symptoms to show, and once diagnosed, patients don’t have a long life expectancy.
Andy Allen said, “The asbestos present in these properties not only causes the tenants ongoing disruption by having restrictions placed upon their household but, if disturbed, can cause severe health repercussions for people exposed to this hazardous material. The minister for communities has told me that the Housing Executive is in the process of arranging for this asbestos to be removed.”
He went on to say, “We need a lot more detail on what the plan is, what the timetable is, and what it will cost. What the department and the Housing Executive needs to show is that they have a policy of not only reviewing their housing stock, but safely removing asbestos where it is discovered.”
The NI Housing Executive commented further on the situation by saying, “There are 326 properties which currently have restrictions in place. With regards to these properties the Housing Executive is in the process of arranging for this asbestos to be removed.”
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/
Published Dec 07, 2016