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What's been in news

If you follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, you will know that we regularly publish news that we think you find interesting, of use or insightful. We also have a YouTube channel - click on the links (over on the far right on desktop) to go to our social platforms.

Below are direct links to recent news posted:

November 2023



Rose Hall an ex-pupil of a school in Leeds was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2019 after breathing in asbestos fibres. She is supporting calls from unions for asbestos to be removed within 40 years.

Leeds woman with incurable cancer calls for action to remove asbestos


A Freedom of Information request from the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has revealed how many people were diagnosed in the area between 2019 and 2023 with mesothelioma.

150 people across Yorkshire diagnosed with same type of incurable 'legacy' cancer


Catch the re-run of BBC health show, Dr Xand's Con or Cure, presented by Dr Xander Van Tulleken. The show looks at the impact of asbestos and includes interviews with people in their 30s and 40s who are living with mesothelioma.

Dr Xand's Con or Cure

October 2023

National Education Union


We asked Asbestos Limited’s MD, Debbie Hales to comment on news that a coalition of Trade Unions is calling for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings within the next 40 years.

Union leaders call for and end to deadly asbestos legacy

September 2023



Surrey County Council '...said the asbestos was safe if it was not disturbed but "would need to be removed by specialist contractors as part of any future plans".'

Surrey Heath Borough Council could move into asbestos lined former shop

Daily Mail

In this article on the Daily Mail's website, it's clear that cosmetics 'company executives knew about asbestos in talc decades ago'.

Despite today's strict UK's laws about the ingredients in cosmetics, it's too late for Hannah Fletcher who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Your makeup may be killing you like it's killing me

Andrew Paten on LinkedIn

The Private Members 10 Minutes Bill was approved in the House of Commons by Andrew Percy MP - Asbestos (National Register) Bill

"Bill to provide for a national register of asbestos present in non-domestic premises and of the condition of that asbestos; and for connected purposes."

Andrew Paten's post on LinkedIn

The Guardian

As this article in the Guardian states we could now see a 're-emergence of a long unresolved issue.'

How asbestos could slow progress to fix crumbling concrete in English schools

August 2023

SHP Online


Interesting article from SOCOTEC UK, the UK’s leading provider of testing, inspection and certification services who details on SHP Online how many duty holders are seeking to utilise advances in technology to help reduce asbestos exposure even further than current regulatory limits require.

Technology's impact on asbestos risk management

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Recently reported on the The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s website is news from the Health and Safety Executive which states that the number of people developing asbestos-related illness is predicted to fall - due to the UK moving further from the asbestos ban in 1999.

However, trade unions are rejecting the government’s view that asbestos is safe to leave in place, so long as it is not disturbed. They are calling for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings.

Asbestos-related cancer deaths fall but ‘time bomb’ threatens

July 2023



Highlighting the potential risk of asbestos if disturbed, this article reports on the BBC’s Lime Grove studio which was demolished in 1993. The BBC paid out to 11 families of make-up artists, engineers, riggers, set builders, studio managers and producers who worked at various locations but all died from mesothelioma.

Esther Rantzen fears asbestos at BBC buildings could have caused her lung cancer

Asbestos and You campaign

In July 2023, we highlighted this webinar which was an overview of the Health and Safety Executive's Asbestos and You campaign and discussed the risks that continue to be associated with asbestos for tradespeople and how to avoid exposure.

Fast forward to 34:24 where Nathanael Challacombe of the IOSH Construction Group is asked whether a survey should be part of an asbestos management plan.

June 2023



The BBC website reports that an estimated 700,000 children are being taught in unsafe or ageing school buildings in England.

Schools requiring major repair are those at risk from sewage leaks and asbestos. A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) refers to the increased safety risk from asbestos in poorly-maintained buildings.

Estimated 700,000 pupils in unsafe or ageing schools in England, says watchdog

Health & Safety Executive

Don't put yourself at risk of asbestos exposure.
As the Health and Safety Executive quite rightly points out, it can take 20-30 years for symptoms to show up.

Asbestos and You

SHP Online

Not only did this individual dupe people into believing he was registered to remove asbestos but he also stored it in hired storage containers – 200 metres from a school and close to a Girl Guide centre.

Harmful asbestos stored near school and girl guide centre by conman ordered to pay more than £80,000


Yorkshire MP Alice Mahon sadly died last year from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure and her son is now ​​calling for asbestos to be removed from all buildings.

Alice Mahon: Ex-MP's death must prompt asbestos action, says son

May 2023

BBC via Mavis Nye Foundation 


"Birmingham City Council has failed thousands of tenants and it needs to act now to put things right."
Words from Kate Dodsworth, director of consumer regulation at Regulator of Social Housing who conducted the review.

Of the 6 key findings, one includes: 17,000 overdue asbestos surveys.

Thousands of city's homes fail to meet standards

Sky News

This is old news but clearly something needs to be done urgently after this latest news item published today:

Parliament so crumbling and asbestos-riddled it's at risk of being 'destroyed by catastrophic incident', MPs warn

Construction Enquirer

As reported in Construction Enquirer - starting in May, Health and Safety Executive inspectors will be tackling the threat of dust on construction sites with inspections specifically focusing on dust control, checking employers and workers know the risks, are planning their work and, using the right controls.

HSE to target site dust in summer crackdown

Asbestos and You

The Health and Safety Executive’s Asbestos and You campaign urges tradespeople working in construction to be aware of disturbing asbestos, especially when renovating and refurbishing properties built before the year 2000. 

Quick Quiz

April 2023


Here's an enlightening blog on the website (but please note that this is a US-based resource and not UK) covering natural disasters and a consideration of the presence of asbestos. Given what Turkey, Syria and now New Zealand is having to contend with - it certainly makes you think.

We point you to the first part - up to 'Asbestos exposure prevention after a disaster' - specifically protection for first responders.

Natural disasters


Read of this school's closure after asbestos was found during building work. It really does pay to have a pre-refurb/demo (RD) asbestos survey carried out prior to any work being undertaken.

Asbestos find closes King Edmund School in Rochford until new year

March 2023



Absolutely appalling that the company, Asbestos Boss Limited advertised itself as a licensed asbestos removal company, removing licensable material from domestic properties throughout the UK.

Anybody at the premises where they were working, as well as the team working for the company were at serious risk of exposure to asbestos.

Company and its director prosecuted for unsafe removal of asbestos across Great Britain

Construction Enquirer

Article in Construction Enquirer reports on 10 construction firms who have been fined a total of nearly £60m by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) for illegally colluding to rig bids for demolition and asbestos removal contracts...

Ten demolition firms fined £60m for bid rigging

February 2023


Here's an enlightening blog on the website (but please note that this is a US-based resource and not UK) covering natural disasters and a consideration of the presence of asbestos. Given what Turkey, Syria and now New Zealand is having to contend with - it certainly makes you think.

We point you to the first part - up to 'Asbestos exposure prevention after a disaster' - specifically protection for first responders.

Natural disasters


Read of this school's closure after asbestos was found during building work. It really does pay to have a pre-refurb/demo (RD) asbestos survey carried out prior to any work being undertaken.

Asbestos find closes King Edmund School in Rochford until new year

January 2023



Freedom of Information data from Durham University revealed 214 of the incidents of asbestos were given a material score of 10 or above - the HSE marks the material score of asbestos out of 12.

Between 10 and 12 is considered “as having a high potential to release fibres and therefore hazardous”.

Over 1,264 incidents of asbestos found in college accommodation buildings

November 2022

SHP Online


Read a statement from logistics company, Eddie Stobart following its fine for exposing workers to asbestos at a site in Widnes. The Company pled guilty to charges at the beginning of November, and admitted that it did not provide relevant surveys at the time in question.

Eddie Stobart fined after workers exposed to asbestos


Read of this school's closure after asbestos was found during building work. It really does pay to have a pre-refurb/demo (RD) asbestos survey carried out prior to any work being undertaken.

Asbestos find closes King Edmund School in Rochford until new year

October 2022

The Law Society


John Hyde writing in The Law Society Gazette highlights how 'Asbestos-related cancer is now hitting white-collar workers, 10 years after the first wave of claims began to subside'.

News focus: A white-collar wave of mesothelioma claims

Yahoo! News

Reality show in New Zealand hit by a reality check...

Dangerous discovery shuts down Seven's expensive new reality show

September 2022

Kent Online News


KentOnline News reports on the renovation project at Swale Borough Council buildings in Sittingbourne. Work has been disrupted after contractors discovered asbestos under window frames earmarked for replacement. The project was halted until testing could be carried out which confirmed the existence of asbestos.

Asbestos discovered in council buildings halts renovation works


Why it always pays to have an Asbestos Management Plan. Even the largest companies - as in this case, Poundland - need to adhere to the law.
Reported on the BBC's website, there was no plan for precautions needed to ensure the asbestos was restricted to secure locations.

Ipswich Poundland fined £565,000 over asbestos plan failings

Anadolu Agency

French public health body, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) says there is a proven causal relationship between the risk of occurrence of the cancers of the larynx and ovaries and occupational asbestos exposure.

Anadolu Agency reports on ANSES research surrounding link between asbestos and other cancers

The Daily Mirror

Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of 9/11. The Daily Mirror reported on documents still to be released concerning the full extent of toxic dust (including Asbestos) which was released into the atmosphere following the collapse of the Twin Towers.

New Yorkers wait for release of documents concerning 9/11

August 2022

World Lung Cancer Day


It’s World Lung Cancer Day and we’re observing the day to remind everyone how asbestos exposure may cause both lung cancer and mesothelioma.

August 1st is World Lung Cancer Day

TUC website & HSE website

Two engineering companies and their director have been sentenced for failing to manage the risks from asbestos to employees within the workplace.

Director and companies fined for failing to manage the risk of asbestos


Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder globally in 2023:

Johnson & Johnson to end global sales of talc-based baby powder

July 2022

Manchester Evening News


We reported last year on the purchase by ESG Trading Ltd of a former asbestos factory site in Rochdale.

With the site being contaminated with blue asbestos, public interest in the redevelopment of the area is high. The Manchester Evening News reports on a meeting of Rochdale Borough Council where  an option to turn the area into a nature reserve was discussed.

Plans for redevelopment of former site of asbestos factory discussed at council meeting

Grantham Journal

The Grantham Journal reports that 150 council houses built after the Second World War will need to undergo renovation to remove asbestos containing materials.The final cost of the work, is estimated by South Kesteven District Council to be in the region of £4 million.

150 council homes in Grantham to undergo work to remove asbestos containing materials

Tes Magazine

Reported in Tes, the Health and Safety Executive has announced that from September, HSE inspectors will be visiting schools to assess how they are managing their asbestos risk.

Back in 2018 a Department for Education survey estimated asbestos was present in over 80% of schools and around 20% were not managing the toxic material in line with government guidance.

HSE inspectors will be visiting schools from September

Health and Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive has released its full report - Asbestos-related disease statistics, Great Britain 2022.

HSE Report: Asbestos-related disease statistics

The Daily Record

Reported by the Daily Record, work to remove waste along the River Ericht at Blairgowrie has been halted for safety reasons. Chemical waste and rubbish had been escaping from a former landfill site.

Asbestos materials have now also been discovered along riverbank. 

Overseen by Perth & Kinross Council, various agencies have been involved with the project to remove the waste including Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), NatureScot and the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board.

The Daily Record reports on chemical and asbestos waste at Blairgowrie

June 2022

BBC News


Latest figures from Northern Ireland report more than 800 asbestos-related deaths between 2009 and 2020.

The Health and Safety Executive puts the number of asbestos-related deaths at around 5,000 deaths per year and death rates are expected to rise. In the article, an HSE spokesperson says that deaths "should decrease from the end of the decade" because two types of asbestos were banned in 1986 and the last type was banned in 1999.

Mesothelioma rates in Northern Ireland

Health and Safety Executive

The 2 directors at Keebar Construction have been given 14-month sentences, suspended for 2 years. Both have been ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work within 12 months and both have been suspended as directors for 10 years and ordered to pay costs of £44,774.21.

Directors have now been sentenced in relation to asbestos exposure of employees during department store renovation project

Central Compliance UK

Yet another case comes to court where a company tries to cut corners and costs by not following health and safety guidelines concerning the management of asbestos.

The case, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, where one expert said it was “one of the worst cases of uncontrolled asbestos exposure that he had come across”, we hear of multiple workers being exposed during work to convert the old Joplings department store in Sunderland into student accommodation.

Directors at Keebar Construction put their employees at risk during department store renovation project

May 2022

E&E News


News coming out of the USA, published by E&E News reports an upsurge in asbestos imports from Brazil and China.

In the first 3 months of 2022, 114 metric tons of raw chrysotile asbestos (white asbestos) have been imported. Considering 100 metric tons were imported into the USA in the whole of 2021, this is a worrying statistic.

US import of white asbestos increases from 2021

News Medical

Data looking at women's mortality rates from mesothelioma in the USA. A study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported in News Medical looked specifically at deaths during the period from 1999 to 2020 and categorised the deaths according to occupation. The highest number of deaths due to mesothelioma was observed in the health care and social assistance industry and the homemaker occupation.

Women's mortality rates from mesothelioma in the USA

Leeds Live

A family based in Leeds seek answers to how dad of 3, Reginald Spence may have been exposed to asbestos during his working career. Reginald was employed at Yorkshire Copper Works, Leeds (now known as Yorkshire Imperial Metals Ltd) from 1964 - 1978.

In July 2020, Reginald experienced chest pain and sought his GP's advice. Sadly, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and passed away on 24 August 2020.

Family of Leeds dad who died from mesothelioma seek answers

Mail on Sunday

New drug abemaciclib offers hope to patients with mesothelioma - the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

New treatment for mesothelioma sufferers

Barking and Dagenham Post

This article, published today in the Barking and Dagenham Post is quite shocking. The lack of awareness about the dangers of asbestos was widespread in the engineering industries in the 60s/70s and beyond.

Retired engineer looks back on working conditions at asbestos manufacturers

April 2022

Work and Pensions Committee


MPs today are calling on the Government and Health and Safety Executive to set a time frame of 40 years for the removal of all asbestos from public and commercial buildings.

It's estimated that there are some 300,000 buildings with asbestos present - including schools. The likelihood of asbestos disturbance is growing as buildings are renovated to meet net zero targets.

MPs call on Government and HSE to commit to asbestos removal time frame

Teesside Live

Reported in Teesside Live this story will resonate with many. Joan Smith, an OAP based in Stockton,Teesside has mesothelioma - the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She didn't develop the cancer due to her own exposure to the toxic material. Her husband worked for ICI as an instrument artificer at the ICI Petrochemical Works in Billingham. Decades of washing Ronald's asbestos-ridden overalls meant Joan was unknowingly breathing in asbestos fibres.

Wife blames terminal cancer on washing her husband's work overalls

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) coordinates its Global Asbestos Awareness Week until 7 April.

In the UK alone, it's estimated each year, 5,000 people lose their lives to asbestos exposure (according to Health and Safety Executive data).

The World Health Organization estimates that around 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2022 runs until 7 April

March 2022

The Guardian


The Asbestos Victims Support Group UK has won a landmark case against Cape, one of the UK's largest manufacturers of asbestos. Cape lobbied the UK government to downplay the dangers of asbestos from the 1950s onwards whilst its own research was exposing the exact opposite

UK asbestos manufacturer withheld information on asbestos risks to health


Not only did Lee Charles of Lincs Demolition Ltd dupe his customers into thinking that he was a licenced asbestos removal specialist but he also failed to dispose of materials safely and in accordance with regulations. Charles was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence at Lincoln Crown Court.

Lincs man guilty of exposing public to asbestos

February 2022

Glasgow Live


A Glasgow builder has been fined £350 and ordered to pay £3,314 in compensation for illegally dumping general and asbestos waste on private land in London Road, Glasgow. Having attempted to conceal the toxic material with fencing he returned the following day to dump even more.

Glasgow builder found guilty of dumping asbestos waste on private land

The Guardian

We reported last July that the widow of horn player, Christopher Larkin was suing the BBC for his exposure to asbestos whilst working at the BBC's Maida Vale studios. Damages amounting to £1.64m have now been paid by the BBC to 11 families of former staff who died from mesothelioma - a cancer related to prolonged exposure to asbestos.

BBC pays out to 11 families of former staff exposed to asbestos

January 2022

Health and Safety Executive


After a Health and Safety Executive investigation, both the contractor and the building owner have been fined for safety breaches. In May 2017, Marius Andrus was working on fragile asbestos ceiling sheets when the roof gave way and he fell to his death. AJM Services (Midland) Ltd and Pearsons Glass have subsequently been found guilty of breaching safety regulations in hearings in February last year and this month.

Contractor and owner of building both fined by HSE for safety breaches

Health and Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive has fined both the managing director and a director of D&M Heritage Ltd, a printing company based in Huddersfield for breaching asbestos regulations. Having previously been alerted to the likelihood that free standing cupboards partly consisted of AIB (asbestos insulation board), the directors still sanctioned the removal and break up of said cupboards, releasing asbestos fibres.

MD and director both fined for breaches of asbestos regulations

Liverpool Echo

The family of a man from Liverpool who died after a diagnosis of mesothelioma is appealing to ex-work colleagues to get in contact in a hope to find answers about how he may have been exposed to asbestos.

Family of Doug Ormsby appeal to ex-colleagues for asbestos exposure information

December 2021

Safety and Health Practitioner


Congratulations to mesowarrior Dr Mavis Nye (hon) BEM. BCAh who's been awarded 'Most Influential person in health & safety for 2021' by Safety and Health Practitioner.

A thoroughly well deserved accolade for such an inspiring campaigner - who tirelessly raises awareness of the dangers asbestos and calls for its removal.

Dr Mavis Nye wins SHP award

Construction Enquirer

Reported in Construction Enquirer a contractor, employed unskilled and untrained labourers to undertake a toilet block conversion which included replacement of a damaged roof. The Health and Safety Executive found that the labourers disturbed a significant amount of asbestos insulation board and in doing so, spread asbestos debris around the site.

Contractor given community order for breaching asbestos safety regulations

BBC News

Jason Williams was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2019 and sadly passed away 6 months later - he was 45. It's thought that he was exposed to asbestos whilst working at the Port Talbot steelworks during his 20s - his job there was to run cables and install computers.

IT worker dies from mesothelioma 20 years after exposure to asbestos

November 2021


Research coming out from geophysicists at the University of Pennsylvania is a cause for concern. Studying abandoned asbestos waste sites, where the toxic material has been buried under tons of soil, their research recommends communities local to such sites should be monitoring their groundwater closely.

Asbestos containment study points to continued risk of exposure

Daily Mail

Great news - those with pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos inhalation will be among more than 15,000 Britons with the disease who will now have the chance to extend their life by two years or more.

Life-extending drug for sufferers of lung-scarring disease will finally be available on the NHS

BBC News

The site of the world's largest asbestos factory has been bought by ESG Trading from Renshaw Properties for an undisclosed sum. Located in Rochdale, the site produced asbestos for over 100 years.

Asbestos: Site of world's largest factory to be cleaned up, new owners say

Health & Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive includes useful information on its website in relation to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and how risks can be controlled in the workplace.

Prevent work-related lung disease

October 2021

World Health Organization


Exposure to lead, particularly on construction sites, can lead to serious health problems. The World Health Organization published a factsheet covering the health risks and sources of exposure to lead dust and particles.

Lead Poisoning

The Guardian

The Health and Safety Executive has fined a company £16,000 plus costs after undertaking a shop conversion which exposed its casual labourers to asbestos.

Construction company fined for employee asbestos exposure 

Liverpool Echo News

An entire roof containing asbestos has been dumped in Raby Mere in the Poulton Hall Road area. Wirral Council will need to employ specialist services to remove the asbestos materials as well as other rubbish dumped at the same site.

Entire roof containing asbestos dumped


For anyone working on a site which may potentially contain asbestos, this guide from UK Asbestos Training Association - UKATA is an excellent quick read.

Only trained professionals should work with asbestos

September 2021

Construction News


From 4th October, Health and Safety Executive inspectors will be undertaking spot checks on over 1,000 construction sites.

Dangerous dust on sites targeted in new HSE crackdown

The Guardian

The BBC is being sued by the widow of Richard Evans who passed away from asbestos-related cancer

BBC sued for set builder’s death in claim over asbestos

The Conversation

We'll all have seen coverage of the services held to commemorate the20th anniversary of 9/11 at the weekend. This article makes for harrowing reading but we still need to raise awareness of toxic dust exposure.

9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded


Mary Angela Fox died from mesothelioma in April this year. It's thought that she was exposed to asbestos whilst working in the family run fruit and veg business. In 1995, part of Blackburn market was demolished whilst she was working next door.

Blackburn mum exposed to asbestos when market roof was demolished died from cancer

Mavis Nye Dr (hon) BEM. BCAh

Mavis Nye, President & Co-Founder of Mavis Nye Foundation (MNF) demonstrates how important asbestos awareness training is and so crucial to keeping workers safe in buildings pre-2000.

Another domestic dwelling with a badly disturbed inspection panel containing Amosite (Brown) asbestos

August 2021

House of Commons Library


A government research briefing 'Fly-tipping - the illegal dumping of waste'. What are the powers and responsibilities of the Environment Agency, local councils and landowners? What reforms are proposed to tackle the problem in the short and longer term?

Fly-tipping – the illegal dumping of waste


Derelict and abandoned buildings are dangerous sites for many reasons - not least, due to the potential exposure to asbestos.

Yet more trespassing into asbestos-filled building prompts police warning