Laura Sharman 25 November 2019

Asbestos still ‘serious’ threat to public heath

Asbestos can be still be found in 1.5 million public buildings putting people at risk of exposure, a think tank has warned.

A new report from ResPublica is calling for the reform of the health and safety regime so the risk posed by asbestos in public buildings is more accurately reflected.

It found that despite being banned in new construction 20 years ago, six million tonnes of asbestos can be found in buildings such as hospitals and schools, causing more than 5,500 deaths last year.

The report – Don't breathe in: bridging the asbestos safety gap – warns the UK’s current asbestos monitoring standards fall significantly short of other European nations and calls for parity with these standards to better staff and the public.

It calls for a central register of all asbestos currently in place in public buildings across the UK and for the Government to commission a cost-benefit analysis for the removal of all asbestos from public buildings.

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