Asbestos risk after flooding

Posted On 16 Jan 2014
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The recent floods that have devastated many parts of the UK could have unexpected consequences by increasing the risk of asbestos exposure, warns David Nichol (pictured), Vice Chairman of Asbestos Training Association (UKATA). Nichol says that anyone engaging in the clean-up process should be vigilant against this killer substance. Asbestos related diseases can take 20 years to develop and there is no cure. The disasters meant misery for many and 150 properties were listed as flooded in Surrey and Kent alone. While asbestos is not normally harmful unless disturbed, flood waters can damage the integrity of buildings, exposing asbestos contaminated flooring, walls and ceilings, breaking down any asbestos present into fine fibres and bringing this dangerous material to the surface. Some asbestos fibres are waterproof and can sit on the surface of water, risking being inhaled once they dry out and posing a serious health hazard. The advice to owners of damaged properties is to use caution when cleaning or searching through debris and if asbestos is suspected, take no chances. Click here for more information on asbestos

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.