Asbestos Lawyer Warns of Risk to Children From New HSE Legislation

Expert asbestos lawyer voices concern over relaxed legislation

23.08.2006

Hundreds of children could be at risk if plans to relax tough anti-asbestos legislation get the green light, warns a leading legal expert.

Adrian Budgen, a partner with national law firm Irwin Mitchell says Government plans will place children at an even greater risk from the dangers of asbestos than at present.

Mr Budgen, who has successfully represented over 800 victims of asbestos-related conditions in the last 16 years, was commenting on a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) consultation paper on the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations.

The changes will see textured coatings containing asbestos, such as Artex used in houses and schools, taken off the list of materials that only licensed contractors can remove.

The regulations due to come into force later this year will mean any contractor will be able to remove textured coatings containing asbestos, irrespective of adequate training, supervision or insurance.

Asbestos lawyer highlights risk of new legislation to young children

Mr Budgen said the HSE had taken advantage of the opportunity presented by new European proposals intended to increase worker protection from asbestos to relax UK laws instead.

Medical evidence obtained in previous legal cases had proved that young children were particularly at risk from asbestos because their lungs were still developing.

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