We’ve put together some of the biggest asbestos-related news stories from around the UK from the last month, to help raise awareness of this dangerous material and the devastating impact it can have on people’s lives.
In Nottinghamshire, a couple were shocked when they arrived home from work to find that someone had dumped dangerous asbestos materials in the skip on their driveway, which they had hired to dispose of bricks following extension work. As the skip is on Mr & Mrs Elliot’s driveway and not on the public highway, their local council have broken the news to the couple that they are responsible for paying to have the asbestos material safely removed, rather than the council. Mrs Elliot said “My husband’s grandfather died due to asbestos and we watched him die. He was only 60 and I am paranoid about it because I know how dangerous it is.”
An internal council report, seen by BBC Wales, has identified that there is a risk of the derelict Colwyn Bay pier causing asbestos-related contamination of the surrounding beach area. When the main pavilion was constructed in the 1930s, asbestos sheeting was one of the materials used. The pier was closed to the public in 2008 for safety reasons and started to collapse in February 2017, sustaining further damage since due to storms. The council report states that the asbestos sheeting could break up further if the pier is hit by bad weather and has recommended that the remaining structure be dismantled as soon as possible to protect the environment around the pier. However, the Welsh government still needs to give the go-ahead before any work can begin.
A retired headteacher has sadly passed away from an asbestos-related illness, after allegedly being exposed to the dangerous substance at a school she taught at, in Somerset. Cathy Kowan was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2015, after experiencing shortness of breath. Mrs Kowan was reported to have been married to a carpenter, who might also have brought asbestos fibres home on his clothing. The Coroner at Mrs Kowan’s inquest said “I think it’s more likely than not that Mrs Kowan was exposed to asbestos fibres during her lifetime.”
If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness and would like to discuss your options, contact Dedicated Accident Solicitors on 01332 897 222 or online.