When asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in, they can cause serious asbestos-related illnesses. There are four main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (always fatal); lung cancer (almost always fatal); asbestosis (not always fatal, but can be very debilitating); and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal). The more fibres breathed in, the greater the risk to the individual's health.
As long as an asbestos containing material is in good condition and is not going to be disturbed or damaged there is negligible risk, but if it is disturbed or damaged then fibres can be released into the air putting people at risk.
Although now illegal to use in the construction or refurbishment of any building, asbestos was widely used in a variety of building products in the past, for example cladding sheets, pipe lagging, insulation boards, floor and ceiling tiles and sprayed coatings.
Many of these asbestos containing building materials are still in place, posing a risk to maintenance and repair workers in particular, such as electricians, plumbers, joiners, gas fitters, telephone and IT engineers, alarm installers, general maintenance workers and many others.
The Council acknowledges its responsibility under the Control of Asbestos Regulations to manage asbestos in buildings for which it is a dutyholder.
The Council will comply with its duty under the Regulations to manage asbestos via the ‘Asbestos Team’ set up within its Corporate Estates Section.
Premise managers will need to consult and cooperate with the Asbestos Team in managing any asbestos present in the building(s) for which they are responsible.
Advice on asbestos can be obtained from the Health and Safety Team, Tŷ Elai, Williamstown, CF40 1NY, telephone number 01443 425546, and from Corporate Estates, Valleys Innovation Centre, Navigation Park, Abercynon, CF45 4SN, telephone number 01443 744444.