Majority of London hospitals contain asbestos

19 Jul 2017 by under News
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Credit: Patrick Mackey

The buildings Londoners visit to improve their health might actually put them at risk of asbestos exposure. According to BBC London, 94 percent of hospitals in the city, where about 1,000 people have died from since 2011, contain asbestos.trans Majority of London hospitals contain asbestos

The government claims the asbestos used in hospitals, often to protect piping, does not pose a risk. However, seven of the 1,000 people who died in the past seven years from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos particles, were doctors or nurses.

“White asbestos in hospitals is still a danger – there’s no safe form of asbestos,” London lawyer Isobel Lovett, who has handled asbestos cases for 17 years, said. “There’s no safe level of dust to which you can be exposed. All asbestos dust, once breathed in, presents a hazard.”

Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that were once used in construction and manufacturing processes during the 20th century. Now, asbestos is a known human carcinogen, and the import and use of asbestos in products has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1999. Products installed before that date are allowed to stay put for the remainder of their service life. About 2,600 people die each year in the from mesothelioma, according to the news source.

“It’s very hard to imagine a killer being safe. Asbestos is a known killer, people are dying from it,” Jerry Swain, acting national instructor for Unite’s construction centre, told the news source. “The only safe asbestos is asbestos that’s been removed.”


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