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

The 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 feel passionately about and I know my colleagues feel the same way.

Together, over the years, we have raised this important issue with MPs and Peers and taken part in a number of campaigns on behalf of Mesothelioma UK – the only national charity dedicated to supporting people affected by this devastating disease.

This week, director Neil Munro and I were delighted to mark the return of our podcast Asbestos Knowledge Empire, by welcoming Liz Darlison, the Chief Executive of Mesothelioma UK in to speak to us about the important work the charity does and why we believe the UK is sitting on an asbestos timebomb.

Think asbestos is a thing of the past? Think again

Far from being a problem that has been consigned to the history books, asbestos is a real problem, right now.

During our chat, Liz explained that each year in the UK more than 2,500 people die from asbestos-related mesothelioma – tragically, many of them within a year of being diagnosed.

Onset of symptoms can be sudden – breathlessness while climbing the stairs, a cough that won’t go away or a persistent pain in the chest – and it is essential that you get anything unusual checked out as soon as possible, particularly if you know you have been exposed in the past.

Mesothelioma UK supports people affected by this terrible disease by offering information through its network of nurses and funding research into possible new treatments.

Liz also explained how she believes more needs to be done to open up a meaningful conversation about the dangers of asbestos now – before it is too late.

What can be done to tackle the asbestos epidemic?

It might not dominate the headlines anymore, but asbestos is still out there – and our team of experts see it in buildings each and every day.

While its use in new buildings was finally banned in the UK in 1999, many people don’t realise that it remains hidden inside many of the buildings we use all the time – including schools, hospitals and offices.

If it is damaged or fractured as a result of general wear and tear, or disturbed as part of building works or repairs, the tiny fibres which make up asbestos sheets are released into the air where they can go on to cause mesothelioma in anyone who breathes them in.

Carrying out a full asbestos survey is the only way to know for sure if it is present in your building. If it is, an effective management plan can be put in place to ensure everyone around you is protected.

Liz told us: “People like you are at the frontline in this battle. Never underestimate the difference you are making. The work you are doing is saving lives.”

To listen to our chat with Liz in full click here or access the latest episode through your usual provider.

For more information about the work we do and the range of services we offer visit

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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