Asbestos: Think carefully before signing on the dotted line

You need to think carefully about asbestos

A BUILDER who lied to his customers about his asbestos industry credentials has been forced to pay back the thousands of pounds.

According to the Environment Agency, Lee Charles used false paperwork to convince customers he was legitimate and had the qualifications necessary to remove asbestos and store it safely.

In reality, Charles had no legal qualifications, no permit from the Environment Agency and had been storing asbestos hired in storage containers 200 metres from a school.

A court has now decided that Charles must pay more than £82,000 as part of a proceeds of crime order.

Paul Salter, an environmental waste crime officer for the Environment Agency said: “Lee Charles’ crimes were not just illegal, but dangerous. He has been ordered to pay back the money and this send out a clear message to others who flout the law that waste crime doesn’t pay.

“Not only do we use environmental law to prosecute offenders, but use the proceeds of crime to ensure criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activity.”

This latest, high-profile case highlights and echoes what we’ve been saying for a while – always check any preferred management company or surveyor you employ has the right paperwork and qualifications before you sign on the dotted line.

Not doing so could be catastrophic.

What you need to know

The costs of not employing the right people are high.

Not only could it cost you thousands of pounds, it could also cost you your health.

Asbestos is a highly toxic material, which was banned in the UK in 1999. It should only ever be handled by people with the right qualifications, training and experience.

At Acorn Analytical Services you can rest assured that with decades of experience between us, we have the right credentials.

We are backed by UKAS and our asbestos consultants are all fully-trained by UKATA. We are also members of industry leaders Constructionline, CHAS, Atac and Safe Contractor.

Asbestos is our business and we are a trusted partner to SMEs and charities right across the UK.

In 2022 alone, we carried out 6,869 surveys, completed 11,292 projects and processed more than 6,902 samples in our in-house laboratory.

With offices in Northampton, Cleckheaton, London and now Wolverhampton we are perfectly placed to support you and your business with all your asbestos needs.

The dangers of asbestos

Not handling asbestos correctly could expose yourself and those around you to mesothelioma – a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

It affects more than 2,500 people every year in the UK and around 80% of those are men – typically men who have worked in the construction industry in roles such as engineering, plumbing and carpentry.

According to Mesothelioma UK symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, a cough, sweating, loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue. There is no effective treatment, there is no cure.

Checking for the presence of asbestos in buildings built before 1999 is essential, and a survey – conducted by a trained asbestos professional such as the team at Acorn Analytical Services – is the only way to do it safely.

To find out more about the work we do visit our website at or call us on 0844 818 0895.

Acorn is a professional consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance and health and safety 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

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

This Men's Health Month is time to talk about absestos

Men’s Health Month – it’s time to talk openly about asbestos

NOVEMBER marks Men’s Health Month – a time for shining the spotlight on the conditions and issues which affect men from all walks of life. While the focus quite rightly turns to serious health issues including Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer and mental health, at Acorn Analytical Services we want people to start talking about asbestos. … Read more

Asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services will soon be moving into new offices

Have you heard the news? Asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services Northampton is on the move

IF you haven’t heard the news already, we are delighted to announce that asbestos connsultancy Acorn Analytical Services Northampton will be starting a brand-new chapter very soon. In the coming days, our team will be moving to new – much larger – offices on Northampton’s Moulton Park, the place which has been our home for … Read more

asbestos in talcum powder

Unveiling the Hidden Danger: The Menace of Asbestos in Talcum Powder and the UK’s Stance

Explore the veiled danger of asbestos in talcum powder, the UK’s vigilant regulations, and the unfolding narrative of consumer safety. Dive into the rigorous testing methodologies, industry responses, and the promising horizon of international cooperation aiming to foster a safer landscape in the realm of personal care products.

RAAC and asbestos could be a problem in some buildings

Raac and ruin? How concrete crisis also raises the question of asbestos

A LOT has been said recently about Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and asbestos. While fears about the safety of RAAC continue to dominate the headlines both nationally and locally, it is the additional threat from asbestos which we believe should be discussed now as a matter of urgency. Just as RAAC is crumbling in … Read more

Asbestos consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services, will be raising money for Mesothelioma UK

Asbestos consultancy gears up for 24-hour fundraising challenge

FOR many years the team at Acorn Analytical Services has been an avid supporter of Mesothelioma UK, the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people affected by this deadly disease. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and shockingly still kills around 5,000 people each year in the UK – … Read more

RAAC and asbestos could be a problem in some buildings

The Ultimate Guide to Asbestos Surveyors: Why Your Safety Depends on It

Asbestos, once a ‘miracle material’, now poses severe health risks. Uncover the significance of asbestos surveys in the UK and why your safety depends on it.

Asbestos: Having the right consultancy in your corner has never been more important

‘Having the right consultancy to help you manage asbestos has never been more important’

A REPORT written by asbestos expert and director of Acorn Analytical Services, Ian Stone, has highlighted the worrying state of asbestos in the UK. The Annual Asbestos Industry Review provides a unique insight into the industry and a snapshot of the work being done by Acorn Analytical Services – one of the largest independent consultancies … Read more

Management of asbestos in schools

Management of Asbestos in Schools: A Comprehensive Analysis

In this blog post, we delve into the critical issue of asbestos management in UK schools, the recent HSE report, and the role of Acorn Analytical Services in ensuring safe learning environments.

Asbestos: Dispelling 3 common myths

Is your business fully compliant with the latest asbestos regulations?

HOW much do you really know about asbestos? If your building was built before 1999, have you ever had it checked? If you know it’s there, do you know for sure that you’re compliant with the latest rules and regulations around asbestos management? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’ it’s time … Read more

Asbestos in fire

Act Now: Uncover the Silent Perils of Asbestos in Fire-Damaged Buildings – A Deep Dive into the Brighton Hotel Incident

Asbestos in fire situations poses significant health risks. Understand the dangers, especially in textured coatings, and the need for expert remediation.