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Contamination Tests Disputed at Turner Brothers Asbestos Works

The results of asbestos levels at the former Turner Brothers Asbestos site in Rochdale, Lancashire have been questioned following a fire in February.

The Turner Brothers Asbestos factory ceased production in the 1990s. The Rochdale site has since been vacant, but was previously the largest asbestos factory in the world – a frightening thought given what we know today of asbestos and its carcinogenic properties.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk recently met with council leader Richard Farnell regarding contamination of the site, which has been the target of vandals in recent years, raising concerns of concealed asbestos becoming disturbed and, therefore, a threat to the public.

Councillor Farnell stated: “The former TBA site is an ongoing concern for the council and one we take very seriously indeed.

“Rochdale residents deserve peace of mind and reassurances that the area is safe. We will continue to work hard to achieve just that.”

The Manchester Evening News reported that, following a fire at the site, tests were carried out revealing no evidence of ‘harmful’ asbestos levels. This follows news from the Rochdale Observer that samples taken by contractors prior to the fire revealed high level of asbestos.

Planning chief, Peter Rowlinson, stated: “Five samples were submitted for analysis following the recent fire at the Turner Brothers site, and Staffordshire Scientific Services, who carried out the independent tests, have now confirmed there was no evidence of harmful asbestos detected in any of the samples of recently deposited dust.

“The site is now being monitored by 24-hour security and additional signage restricting access is due to be installed.

“We have met with the owner’s representatives alongside the police and fire services to agree a plan for the safe remediation of the site.

“We were already in discussions with the owners about possible demolition of the buildings before the fire, now we’ve emphasised the need to progress these works.”

Expert Opinion

Turners was one of the world’s largest manufacturers of asbestos.

Today, people who previously worked at Turners’ Rochdale – and their families – suffer the devastating consequences of that work when they develop asbestos-related conditions, including mesothelioma. 

It is extremely worrying that, in the 21st century, people may still be exposed to asbestos from Turners activities in the past.  I hope a solution can soon be found so that, going forward, there is no risk that anyone can be exposed to asbestos from this site. 

Helen Wilson is a principal lawyer at the Slater and Gordon offices in Manchester, specialising in cases of chest and asbestos diseases.

Slater and Gordon asbestos lawyers deal with asbestos compensation 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.

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