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

Asbestos awareness: Education is key

Asbestos awareness: ‘Educating the public is key’

WHEN it comes to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos, education and training are absolutely key. With so much advice out there, it can be difficult to know where to turn for information you can trust and training which is tailored to suit your individual needs. To mark national Day of Education, the team … Read more

Asbestos is a big problem on the high street

Asbestos on the high street continues to dominate the headlines

The headlines have once again been dominated this week by stories of high street premises which have been affected by asbestos. In November, Acorn Analytical Services shone a spotlight on the growing epidemic in towns and cities across the UK and urged companies and shop owners to put the safety of their staff and customers … Read more

Reducing asbestos in schools should be a clear priority

‘Reducing asbestos in schools should be our first priority’

FOR many years the team at Acorn Analytical Services has been calling for full asbestos risk assessments to be carried out in schools right across the UK. With many schools having been built during the post-war period when the use of asbestos was at its highest, we fear that many school buildings still contain the … Read more

Asbestos: Rates of mesothelioma continue to soar in women

Asbestos: Number of women affected by mesothelioma continues to soar

MORE women than ever are being affected by exposure to asbestos according to statistics published by Cancer Research UK. Between 2016 and 2018 rates of mesothelioma – the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres -soared by 93% in women. Among those affected is 78-year-old Susan Ellis who recently shared her story with the Daily … Read more

Dan Crask and David Kelsey represent asbestos management consultancy, Acorn, at the NBCAs

Acorn Analytical Services – leading the way in the fight against asbestos epidemic

IT has been a busy year for the team at Acorn Analytical Services as we continue to work with new clients, grow our team and cement our place as one of the leading asbestos management companies in the UK. As we approach the end of the year, we thought we would take a moment to … Read more

Education is key to understanding asbestos

Understanding asbestos: Why educating your team is key

THE devastating effects of asbestos have been highlighted this week after a pensioner from Northamptonshire won compensation from a former employer after developing an asbestos-related illness. Patrick Collier, a former painter and decorator, received compensation in the Royal Courts of Justice after developing pleural thickening. His illness meant that he had to give up work … Read more

Remembering those who have died from asbestos exposure at work

One death from exposure to asbestos is one too many – it’s time for change

EACH year on December 12, the team at Acorn Analytical Services takes a moment to remember the lives lost in workplaces up and down the UK, either through injury or exposure to asbestos. By pausing to remember those who have died from workplace accidents, or from diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, National Workplace … Read more

The UK is sitting on an asbestos timebomb

Asbestos Knowledge Empire: ‘UK is sitting on an asbestos timebomb’

RAISING awareness of the hidden dangers of asbestos is a key part of the work we do at Acorn Analytical Services. After more than 20 years in the asbestos industry, and having met people who have been directly affected by mesothelioma – the cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos – it is something I … Read more

England star Stuart Pearce has helped to raise awareness of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma: How an England footballer is bringing home the dangers of this hidden killer

THIS afternoon, England’s Three Lions made a winning start to their World Cup campaign beating Iran in their first match in Qatar. But one footballing legend fears he could be in danger of developing mesothelioma after starting his career as an electrician in the 1980s. While former England legend Stuart Pearce is now undoubtedly best … Read more

Viviana, one of the newest members of Acorn's team

Team talk: Meet Viviana one of the talented new recruits at Acorn Analytical Services

WITH the UK in the grip of an asbestos epidemic, recruiting talented, experienced staff to join the award-winning team of experts at Acorn Analytical Services has never been more important. Despite being banned in new buildings more than 20 years ago, asbestos remains a huge problem for many businesses and, as a result, demand for … Read more