Asbestos in Hospitals – The Real Problem?

asbestos in hospitals image

Asbestos is a hazardous substance, and the effects that it can have on the human system are well known to be carcinogenic. With that in mind, asbestos has been removed or made safe from public places to protect people from it. However, it has recently been brought to the attention of the public that hospitals in the London area may not be as safe from this hazardous material as was initially thought. Asbestos in hospitals – The real problem.

There’s asbestos in hospitals in the London area?

Now, you would initially think that a hospital, which is a place where sick people are treated and cared for, would be nothing but the safest place possible, to ensure that both the patients in there do not become any worse than is necessary, or that the people who are caring for them are also protected from any risk or illness or injury. However, it has come to light that a very worrying 94% of hospitals in London contain asbestos within the building. Around 5,000 people die per year from asbestos related diseases, and seven of those in the last year have been reported to be doctors and nurses.

The official report from the government is that many of the structures which make up hospitals used by the NHS come from an era when the asbestos was much more widely used, although if left undisturbed, the substance is considered safe. However, leading experts have described the situation as being something which will eventually get out of hand, likening it to a ‘time bomb’.

Is this a problem for people in hospitals?

The fact that there is so much asbestos in hospitals is a concern. Asbestos is a material which can be very dangerous for people to be in close contact with, if the material is not in a good condition. Asbestos materials in a poor condition can release asbestos fibre, which can become airborne. Once airborne they can be inhaled by the occupants. This can create problems later in life as the fibres can sit undetected within the body for many years. This exposure can lead to developing asbestos related diseases.

Overall, the fact that many hospitals have asbestos materials present within them is a very worrying discovery. The fact people enter hospitals in sometimes a vulnerable and ailing condition can only be compounded if they are potentially exposed to these hazardous materials. Additionally, to this, workers including doctors, nurses and hospital staff within these buildings are at a greater risk of exposure whilst working.


If you would like assistance in identifying and managing your asbestos risk with an asbestos survey call us on 0844 818 0895 for free and impartial advice.

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

Rare disease day

Why Rare Diseases Day should be important to everyone

This Sunday, campaigners from around the world will unite their voices under the banner of the 14th annual Rare Diseases Day. This international event is coordinated by Eurordis – the voice of rare disease patients in Europe – every 28 February to raise awareness amongst the public and decisionmakers about rare diseases and their impact …

Read MoreWhy Rare Diseases Day should be important to everyone

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 17

Tragic case reveals another dangerous aspect of asbestos

This month the dangers of asbestos hit the headlines once more but maybe not for the reason you might expect. Anyone who regularly follows our blogs or listens to our podcasts will know how hard we work to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos-related diseases. Sadly, a case which came to court recently showed …

Read MoreTragic case reveals another dangerous aspect of asbestos

Sian Stone running Medium

Acorn’s marathon effort to raise money for Mesothelioma UK

Anyone who is familiar with Acorn Analytical Services will know that we are passionate about educating people so that their health is not put at risk by asbestos. So, we are particularly proud to bring you a guest blog by our Commercial Manager Sian Stone about her efforts this month to raise money for a …

Read MoreAcorn’s marathon effort to raise money for Mesothelioma UK

shutterstock 569747749 1

What can you do to support World Cancer Day?

Did you know that every 4 February for the past 21 years has been World Cancer Day? The international awareness day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness, improve education and push for personal, collective and government action to create a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are …

Read MoreWhat can you do to support World Cancer Day?

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 39

Complacency – an asbestos surveyor’s biggest enemy

Complacency is the asbestos surveyor’s enemy number one. There is lots of training available to make sure surveyors are qualified and they will build up experience before they are let loose on their own because asbestos is such a hazardous substance. You tend to find surveyors aren’t complacent when they first qualify because the work …

Read MoreComplacency – an asbestos surveyor’s biggest enemy

JANshutterstock 1381443422 sml

Weird locations and uses of asbestos

In this blog we’re looking at the weird and wonderful locations and uses of asbestos that we’ve come across. Asbestos was used everywhere and thousands of different materials had asbestos added to them. Kent cigarettes One example that springs to mind is the old American Kent cigarette brand which contained asbestos in their filter. The …

Read MoreWeird locations and uses of asbestos

Joe Gore 6 scaled e1611578307773

Focus on our Birmingham Office lead Joe Gore

Back in November we were thrilled to reveal we had launched a new office in Birmingham which is being expertly led by Asbestos Consultant Joe Gore. Joe has been incredibly busy working on a wide variety of projects across the West Midlands since then but we caught up with him to find out how he …

Read MoreFocus on our Birmingham Office lead Joe Gore

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 55

Why you should use lockdown to deal with your asbestos

So here we are entering a New Year. Traditionally, a time for optimism and new beginnings but this week’s announcement of the latest national lockdown left many businesses reeling. Almost a year on from the first national lockdown you could be forgiven for thinking we’re living through some kind of strange Groundhog Day but the …

Read MoreWhy you should use lockdown to deal with your asbestos

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 36

Don’t fall foul of the law – make sure you get the correct Asbestos Survey

At Acorn Analytical Services we invest a lot of time into making people aware about the dangers of asbestos for two key reasons. One is the human cost – exposure to asbestos can cause life-changing illnesses and incurable cancers – and the second reason is the cost it poses to businesses. It is so important …

Read MoreDon’t fall foul of the law – make sure you get the correct Asbestos Survey

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 28

£2bn Government gold rush could be an asbestos minefield

This autumn, the Government launched a new scheme to promote home insulation. It is subsidising home insulation ventures with grants of up to £5,000 which can be used to install insulation, double glazing, smart controls and more. This is great news for the environment and for the economy however, we do have concerns about it. …

Read More£2bn Government gold rush could be an asbestos minefield