This week a freedom of information request by the BBC found that 90% of UK hospital trusts run hospitals which contain asbestos. This accounts for 198 of the 2011 trusts in the country.
It’s shocking that a material known to be so hazardous is still so widely present in the UK. Crucially however, the news highlights just how far spread the use of asbestos was, and how the threat is still present day, despite the fact it was banned in 2000.
If asbestos can still be present in our hospitals, it poses the question where else can it be? The impact of our past love affair with this cheap commodity is still very much felt today. Overall it’s a stark reminder that asbestos is not yet consigned to the past and it is a serious threat that cannot be ignored.
Asbestos exposure is still happening
Although the vast majority of asbestos contact occurred in the past, it still happens today. The most at risk are construction workers who spend time on old building sites where asbestos may be present, however homeowners can be at risk when renovating too.
Fortunately there are stringent regulations in place to help protect workers, however it is still very important to be mindful that the threat may still exist and should be taken seriously.