Are high rises at risk of asbestos?

Asbestos surveyor during a refurbishment survey

Asbestos has been identified in a flat in Stockbridge Village, raising concerns that hundreds of other tenants could be exposed to this harmful material. Asbestos materials were found in Mark Syme’s home on the 15th floor of the Denecliff tower block, many months after he had campaigned for the property to be inspected for the material.

48-year-old Mr Symes strongly believed that his home contained asbestos, but says that he had to ask Villages Housing Association repeatedly to call in surveyors to inspect the property. The inspection was finally carried out and it was revealed that asbestos was indeed present in the flat. A few days later, asbestos removal contractors entered the property to remove the asbestos safely.

 

An accredited asbestos removal company

Nigel Sedman, the Director of investment and regeneration at ForViva, who own Villages, said that asbestos was removed from an empty space behind a bathroom area within one of their properties at Denecliff.

Sedman said that work was carried out by an “accredited asbestos removal company” and that air tests were performed once complete to ensure resident safety. Test certificates demonstrated that there was no asbestos present within the flat at that time.

Mr Syme, whilst relieved that his home has been made safe to live in, said that he was still concerned about the other properties in the high-rise flats. He added that for everybody to be safe, further testing should be carried out on all the other flats and any asbestos removed as soon as possible.

 

Further asbestos testing to be carried out

Mr Sedman said that an inspection was carried out in a service riser within the block and that a small patch of dust had traces of asbestos fibres. This area is not open to residents and is only accessed to carry out maintenance work. Work to remove the contaminated dust is now underway.

He stressed that the safety of residents is a priority and that further air testing would be carried out in the block as a precaution and to reassure people living there. Depending on the results, further action may be required.

With news that Grenfell Tower contained extensive asbestos containing materials in every one of the 120 flats, questions are being raised about the asbestos risk in high rises across the country.

At Acorn Analytical Services, we can assist you if you’re concerned that your property is harbouring asbestos, providing a tailored service that fits your requirements. Get in touch today to find out more.

 

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.

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