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Fear of asbestos exposure at allotments

This week the Lancashire Telegraph revealed how plots at Darwen’s only allotment site will not be let out for fears of asbestos exposure.

With allotment plots in high demand, many local residents are said to be frustrated at the news that the empty plots will not be made available until a full site survey is completed, minimising the risk of exposure from the contaminated land.

Asbestos cement is quite commonly found on allotments.  A mixture of cement and asbestos (usually about 10%-15% of the total product), asbestos cement was used on corrugated roofing panels on sheds, farms and industrial buildings. It was also used to make drain pipes, flues and water tanks.

While asbestos cement is often regarded as being lower risk than other forms of asbestos material, primarily because the fibres are bonded to the cement and therefore not easily released, the risk of developing serious or even fatal diseases as a result of asbestos exposure from the cement cannot be ignored. Particularly if the asbestos cement is disturbed or damaged.

While today local councils are well versed in dealing with and disposing of any asbestos found on allotments, this doesn’t help a generation of local council workers who were previously exposed to the asbestos used in asbestos cement (and other such materials) and are now suffering as a result.

With the symptoms of asbestos exposure often only manifesting themselves several decades later, those most at risk are now over 50 years old. I personally have dealt with several successful claims for people who fitted these corrugated roofs in the first place -typically in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural thickening and pleural plaques. Asbestos is responsible for approximately 4,000 deaths every year, making it the biggest single cause of work related deaths in the UK.

With more help available than ever before, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening or asbestos related lung cancer, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can speak to a member of our team on 0161 835 8832. Alternatively, please email a summary of your potential claim and contact details to claire.reddicen@lindermyers.co.uk

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