A family in Exeter recently told of their horror story when they learned that asbestos was in their home. But is this nightmare a reality in your house?
Jonathan and Sarah Small were told that their rented home, in which they live with their four-year-old daughter, contained asbestos but that it wouldn’t be removed.
Mrs Small told Exeter Express & Echo, “The landlord came out and did an asbestos test. There is asbestos in the walls and ceiling of every bedroom, the living room and kitchen. I thought they would get rid of it or move us out, because we have a young child. But they say it’s not dangerous as long as we don’t tamper with it. We feel they are not listening to us.
“We don’t want to put anything up on the walls, like Christmas decorations, and my daughter won’t go in the bathroom.
“It’s not doing our health any good, because it’s always in the back of our minds. We are worried.”
This is a story that may well apply to many people throughout England and Wales – perhaps without them realising it.
Asbestos was used when building and refurbishing homes and commercial buildings up until 1999 when its cancer-causing properties were recognised. Exposure to asbestos causes lung diseases, such as Mesothelioma, which can take many years for doctors to identify and diagnose.
The discovery of asbestos in the Small family’s home is sadly not rare, with many families in England and Wales potentially in a similar situation. If your home was built or refurbished before 1999 there is a possibility that there is asbestos in your home. This will likely be in the form of insulation, most often in the walls, attic and basement. Often it is the case that it will be out of reach, concealed behind walls. If so, it is dangerous when disturbed and should not be handled or tampered with at the risk of exposure to you and your family.
Having spoken to a number of people who have recently been exposed to asbestos, I can empathise with the concerns and fears of the Small family and their continued worry of potentially developing an asbestos related condition.
If you’re unsure whether or not there could be asbestos in your house, see our blog Asbestos and the Renovation Roulette for why it is essential to employ specialists to survey and remove any asbestos.
See our seven FAQs about asbestos here.
Julian Cason is a personal injury lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Cardiff.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have a specialist team of Asbestos Compensation Solicitors that deal with Asbestos claims on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation call freephone 0800 884 0275 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.