Let’s start 2024 in the right way – by getting rid of the dangers of asbestos for good

Ian Stone, director of asbestos management consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services

According to the latest data from the Health and Safety Executive 2,268 people died from asbestos-related mesothelioma in 2021 alone.

It’s a shocking statistic, particularly when you consider that the use of asbestos in new buildings was banned in the UK in 1999 – more than 20 years ago.

With Cancer Research UK confirming that as many as 20,000 deaths from cancer in the UK are entirely preventable, we’re calling on the Government to start 2024 in the right way – by committing to a phased removal of the material in UK buildings by 2050 to cut deaths, reduce the signficant burden on the NHS and protect the health and wellbeing of generations to come.

It’s time to act on asbestos

In November, we were devastated to learn of the death of Mavis Nye – a remarkable lady who had been living with asbestos-related mesothelioma for 13 years.

Since being diagnosed in 2009, she had been a tireless campaigner, working hard to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos, a substance she believed she first came into contact with after meeting her husband who worked for the Royal Navy at the time.

At Acorn Analytical Services, we were privileged to have worked closely alongside Mavis and were continually inspired by her work and her story. Our thoughts are very much with her family and friends at this difficult time.  

Sadly, however, we know that Mavis is not alone and many more families across the UK are suffering the heartbreak of losing members of their family to asbestos-related mesothelioma way before their time.

According to UKATA, more than 90,000 people will have died from mesothelioma by 2050 – some of them as young as 18.

So what do we believe should be done to protect people from the dangers of the asbestos?

Asbestos: Understanding the expert’s view

Despite the mounting evidence that asbestos remains a danger to public health, the Government’s stance has remained unchanged.

The Government believes that leaving it in situ and taking steps to ensure it is not disturbed is enough – but we wholeheartedly disagree.

We believe that as a building ages and inevitably starts to decay, the risk of fibres being released into the air is just too high.

When you also consider that many people are unaware that their homes, offices and public buildings including hospitals and schools still contain asbestos, the risks of accidentally disturbing this hidden killer as part of renovations, repairs or routine maintenance are even greater.

As one of the leading independent asbestos management consultancies in the UK, we see the evidence right across the UK everyday – and it is shocking.

With that in mind, we believe the only way to protect future generations from this awful legacy of the past is by committing to a phased removal of asbestos material from all buildings by 2050.

And there’s no time to waste.

As 2024 approaches, we are committed to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos among those working in construction, and in all trades including carpentry, plumbing, engineering and architecture through our regular training sessions.

We will also use our collective voice to shout even louder to raise awareness of the dangers among the general public – in loving memory of Mavis and all those lost to mesothelioma this year.

We will never forget them.

Acorn is a professional consultancy helping organisations deal with compliance using surveysair testing, and removal management. 

Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying-sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spent purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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