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 (on the right on desktop) to go to our social platforms.

Below are direct links to recent news posted:

September 2022

Kent Online News

Article

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

BBC

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

Article

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

Reuters

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

Article

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

Article

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

Article

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

Article

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

Article

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

GOV.UK

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

Article

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

Article

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

Article

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

Mesothelioma.net

Article

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

Article

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

UKATA

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

Article

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

LancsLive

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

Article

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

NorthantsLive

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