Asbestos even plagues the royal family; nearly £4 million spent in palace renovations

23 Jun 2014 by under News

Kensington Palace wiki 100x100 Asbestos even plagues the royal family; nearly £4 million spent in palace renovationsAccording to, even the have had to deal with the removal of asbestos. Reports show that the royal family just spent nearly £4 million on repairing their Kensington Palace apartment, including fixing the home’s roof, renovating residential rooms (including Prince George’s nursery), refurbishing electrical and plumbing work and, of course, removing the presence of asbestos from the homestead.

Beginning about two years ago, the first repairs cost just around £1 million; however, it shortly became clear that there would be more renovations done as more problems were discovered. Although the final numbers have yet to be confirmed by the royal family, reports point to an upwards of about £4 million having been spent on the palace’s renovations. The final tally will be published by the royals next week.

In defense of the home updates being done at the taxpayer’s expense, a royal spokesman released the following statement:  “This is the Duke and Duchess’s one and only official residence. It is here that they plan to stay for many, many years to come.”

Despite the residence being used as an office space  after the death of Princess Margaret in 2002, the Kensington Palace had not seen any substantial renovations since 1963 – a clear indicator of the high probability of asbestos. Other products used in one’s home that have the potential to contain dangerous asbestos include:

• Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
• Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
• Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
• Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
• Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
• Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.
• Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
• Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
• Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

The royal spokesperson confirmed the palace’s hazardous condition by detailing problems that had not been addressed for nearly half a century. “To put it in perspective,” the spokesperson said, “there wasn’t even any running water.”

Exposure to asbestos has been linked to the development of diseases including , a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen or, rarely, the heart. There is no known cure for . People planning a renovation or demolition project are advised to have the facility inspected for the presence of asbestos. Asbestos is not usually dangerous if it is left intact. When it is broken or crushed, as in renovation or removal projects, it may release microscopic fibers that can be ingested or inhaled, leading to the development of asbestos disease. Asbestos must be removed by a licensed contractor and, in the U.S., its removal and disposal must follow strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

Beasley Allen


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