Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers Call For Further Action On Asbestos Removal From Public Buildings

Asbestos Removal To Take Place During Palace Of Westminster Refurbishment

12.09.2016

Expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell have called for a clear plan for the removal of asbestos from public buildings following the news MPs may have to leave the Palace of Westminster to allow repair and refurbishments to take place.

During the work, which could take up to six years, asbestos will be removed from the building in a bid to protect those using it from the dangers the material can pose.

Parts of the building were constructed as early as 1099, however most date from 1847, and extensive post-war repairs were made following bomb damage sustained during the Blitz.

A study conducted last year reported that the building was in a poor state with collapsing roofs, crumbling walls, leaking pipes and large quantities of asbestos.

Asbestos was used in the construction and insulation of buildings for decades and was a component in a wide range of products including cement, sealants, pipe and boiler insulating material, corrugated roofing, ceiling tiles, wall tiles and wall insulation.

When asbestos dust or fibres become airborne and are breathed in, it can cause a number of serious diseases including mesothelioma - an aggressive and incurable form of lung cancer, other lung cancers and asbestosis - a serious scarring condition of the lungs. It is estimated that around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past asbestos exposure.

Irwin Mitchell has, in the past, represented clients who contracted asbestos-related diseases while working as electricians, plumbers and other tradesmen in the Houses on Parliament.

Ian Bailey, asbestos specialist and London-based partner at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“Asbestos was commonly used in the construction of public buildings, such as the palace, schools, local government buildings and universities. At Irwin Mitchell we have recently seen an increase in people affected by asbestos-related diseases who have spent time working at these institutions.

“Diseases caused by asbestos exposure are more commonly associated with heavy industry but clearly the substance is posing a danger to those outside these traditional industries. We have regularly called for the improved monitoring, management and auditing of asbestos in public buildings and we have also called for a clear plan to ensure the material is removed from public buildings.

“Whilst we are pleased that the asbestos is to be removed from the Houses of Parliament, we would like to see MPs who will be forced to relocate while renovations are carried out, have a similar commitment to other workers and members of the public to ensure that there is a clear plan to remove asbestos from all public buildings.”
Ian Bailey, Partner

Our expert asbestos solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved one has suffered due to an asbestos related illness. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.