March 23, 2018

HEALTH RISK: 90% of Lancashire schools contain asbestos

HEALTH RISK: 90% of Lancashire schools contain asbestos

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Teaching leaders claim lives are being put at risk after it was revealed that more than 90 per cent of Lancashire schools contain asbestos.

More than half of those, 57 per cent, are in Central Lancashire.

Asbestos sign
Asbestos sign

The main teaching unions are calling for urgent action after it was revealed that the county has one of the highest density of schools with asbestos in the country. County health and safety officer Ian Watkinson, pictured, branded the figures “a scandal on a local and national scale.”

Asbestos was widely used as a building material in the 1960s and ‘70s and banned in the UK in 1999 once the health risks became apparent. A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said asbestos could be managed safely if left undisturbed, but the latest findings have led to renewed calls to make schools safer.

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HEALTH RISK: 90% of Lancashire schools contain asbestos

Swiss billionaire Schmidheiny Wins Asbestos Court Battle

Billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny was acquitted this week of complicity in 3,000 deaths related to the use of asbestos in factories formerly part of his chemicals empire, Eternit. Italy’s supreme court overturned a ruling which sentenced the Swiss entrepreneur to 18 years in prison stating the evidence in the case was out of date.

Schmidheiny had been fighting the case which wound its way through the Italian court system for years. In 2012, he was jailed in absentia for 16 years, a sentence that was raised by an appeals court to 18 years in 2013. Throughout the case, Schmidheiny who avoids the limelight, denied the charges stating once the perils of asbestos were known, he sold out of the business and was not running the factory during the period claimed in the deaths.


“My group was heading toward bankruptcy as a consequence of the combined effects of asbestos-related problems and a major slump in construction markets. Thus I built my group virtually from scratch,” he wrote to Forbes in 2009 for a feature story.

Shmidheiny inherited the Eternit Group when he was 37 as the fourth generation of a Swiss industrial dynasty. Before he took full control, he had worked around the globe for his family’s Eternit Group, which manufactured a line of construction products that had begun in 1903 with asbestos-reinforced cement. At age 29, after toying with the idea to become a missionary, studying law and travelling abroad, he was called back to headquarters. That is when he began to face the company’s asbestos concerns. Schmidheiny had filters installed at Eternit factories to reduce dust in the air, beefed up employee training and began to move the company away from asbestos-based products. He notes that he himself was exposed to the mineral while working in his early 20s hauling sacks as a shift foreman at Eternit in Brazil. When Schmidheiny took full control of the company, he sold off most asbestos operations and diversified into other ventures, including the Latin American investment holding company, GrupoNueva, and the then ailing watch firm Swatch. (He sold off his Swatch shares after it recovered.)

In 2003 Schmidheiny focused more on his burgeoning philanthropic efforts. He placed $1 billion in business assets, including GrupoNueva, into a charitable trust, which its profits annually to help entrepreneurs across both Central and South America. In a 2012 interview with Forbes he said, “In keeping with the family tradition, my charitable activities first began in Switzerland where we supported – and continue to support – a broad range of activities e.g. in the field of conservation of the cultural heritage, protecting women’s and children’s rights, protection of the environment, to name just a few. In 1992 I had an experience as the founder of the Business Council for Sustainable Development around the UN conference of Rio that profoundly changed my outlook on life. Thus, I greatly expanded my philanthropic endeavors and put a major emphasis on promoting sustainable forms of development in Latin America.”

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Swiss billionaire Schmidheiny Wins Asbestos Court Battle

No asbestos exposure during project, Heritage says

NORMAL — Public health officials investigated this week after asbestos-containing floor tiles were exposed during a renovation project at Heritage Health in Normal.

“IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) did receive a complaint about asbestos at Heritage Health and conducted an investigation,” Melaney Arnold of IDPH said Thursday. “Yesterday (Wednesday), IDPH confirmed that the asbestos problem had been rectified and the facility was safe for occupancy.”

“During this whole process, we have no reason to believe that any staff, residents or members of the general public came into contact with asbestos-containing material,” said Benjamin Hart, CEO of Heritage Enterprises, which owns the Normal long-term care facility at 509 N. Adelaide St.

“When we determined that we were dealing with asbestos-containing material, it was cleaned up in accordance with public health rules,” Hart said Thursday.

East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging’s long-term care ombudsman will go to Heritage to make sure residents’ questions are answered and concerns are addressed, said regional ombudsman Tami Wacker.

Hart said workers pulled up carpeting in a hallway outside the administrator’s office in the middle of the building. The carpeting had been glued to tiles underneath and the tiles came up intact with the carpet, Hart said.

“We determined that they were asbestos-containing tile,” he said.

Asbestos, because of its strength and heat-resistance, was used for years in building construction materials. Exposure to asbestos fibers released into the air may increase the risk of lung disease.

Heritage consulted with Public Health investigators on Tuesday, covered the floor and closed off a small part of the hallway while clean up work was done, Hart said.

“Any asbestos-containing material was properly disposed of by a licensed environmental disposal firm,” he said.

Residents weren’t relocated during the clean up.

“The air was sampled by an approved contractor and the air was clean,” Hart said. The closed-off area reopened about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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No asbestos exposure during project, Heritage says

Specialists to handle asbestos issue

Specialists to clear Tuam St asbestos


Last updated 05:00 21/11/2013

tuam st


The demolition of the old Christchurch City Council offices in Tuam Street has begun.

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Asbestos will be removed from the former Christchurch civic building in Tuam St while a neighbouring site continues to be dampened down after contamination hot spots were identified.

The multi-storey building was occupied by the Christchurch City Council from 1980 until 2010 and was recently sold to the Central Christchurch Development Unit as the land is earmarked for the new inner-city bus interchange.

Earlier this month, preliminary testing of an adjoining vacant site identified isolated traces of asbestos in the soil between Lichfield St and Struthers Lane.

Ceres New Zealand was awarded the demolition contract for the Tuam St building and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) is managing the project. A Cera spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the building contained the potentially lethal substance as well as lead-based paint.

“That will have to be disposed of properly too,” she said.

Both hazards were “normal things” expected of many buildings constructed before the mid-1980s.

Specialists would be handling the removal of all hazardous substances, she said.

Meanwhile, an asbestos investigation had been conducted on the vacant land and the report was due back this week.

Staff would then be able to decide how to remediate the land, she said, but in the meantime sprinklers continued to keep the site damp to minimise dust.

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Specialists to handle asbestos issue

Asbestos tracking software lets NT schools breathe easier

A new centralised information management system is being deployed to help maintain asbestos registries as an audit is conducted of government-run Northern Territory schools.

Seventy-three out 75 public schools in the territory have buildings that are known to contain asbestos.

“As we all know, [builders] were supposed to stop using asbestos in the mid ’80s, but they kept using the product until they ran out or had pressure put on them to stop using it,” said Kevin Anderson, a project manager for Building Services at the NT’s Department of Infrastructure.

Buildings that were completed before 31 December, 2003, may contain asbestos, Anderson said. Mostly of the asbestos is non-fibrous, though some buildings contain the more dangerous friable or fibrous asbestos. Inhalation of asbestos can have deadly consequences, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Details of asbestos and any asbestos-removal work at schools are maintained in a hardcopy register that contractors carrying out building or maintenance works need to familiarise themselves with before any construction or refurbishment takes place.

Queensland-headquartered engineering and environmental consulting firm OCTIEF won a $763,000 territory government tender in January to carry out a full asbestos audit in public schools and put an electronic register system in place and maintain it for 12 months.

To maintain the centralised register, a newly released software system – OCTFOLIO – is being used.

“It’s bringing the old, cumbersome hard copy asbestos register up to today’s standard in regards to making an electronic copy so we can update it easily, and keep track of the asbestos removal,” Anderson said.

Although the system allows for centralised tracking of known asbestos in schools, hardcopy registers must still be maintained for inducting builders before works are undertaken. Additionally, Anderson said that an alert system lets schools know when their register is due for auditing.

“Every year you’re supposed to do an audit on your registers, then every five years it’s got to be audited by people who are trained to be able to identify asbestos,” he said.

Schools will be able to update their registers quickly and then produce a hardcopy based on the central database, Anderson said. “So contractors coming in [to the school] when they sign in, they are actually indicating that they’ve viewed the asbestos register and they’re pretty confident it’s up to speed and up to date.”

“When you remove the asbestos-containing material, and there are many, many forms of it, you can now update the register straight away. That’s the main thing – with the old, manual system it just was too hard for people to keep it up to date.”

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Asbestos tracking software lets NT schools breathe easier

Asbestos removal underway at some Guilford County Schools

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C.– A handful of Guilford County schools are part of an extensive asbestos removal project this summer.

“We have approximately 91 schools that contain asbestos in some form or another,” explained GCS Project Manager Ernest King.

King says they are working to remove asbestos from 30 schools this summer. He hopes the rest of schools can be complete on weekends during the school year or next summer when kids are out for break.

“All the kids, teachers, whoever is there we want to make sure that they’re safe,” he said.

King explained unexposed asbestos is not hazardous for people in the schools day-to day. However, when tiles or carpets are disturbed during demolition or renovations, asbestos fibers can be released into the air.

“During the process and after it’s over, we have air monitoring where a third-party company comes in to check the air,” King added.

Principal Mark Harris works at Peeler Open Elementary School and is excited to have new carpeting in the office, media center and computer lab.

“Peeler’s an open school so here, kids lay on the carpet and read, they move around, it’s not like a traditional school where folks just sit in rows,” Harris said.

GCS says there are 91 schools and 11 administrative buildings containing asbestos, mostly in floor tiles and carpeting.

“If you’re gonna have asbestos in a building, floor tile is where you prefer to have because it’s a low content of asbestos. Normally ranges from 1-2%,” explained King.

“We are thankful to have this done,” added Harris.

Schools involved in the asbestos removal project this summer:

  • Academy at Central
  • Alderman Elementary
  • Allen Jay Elementary
  • Allen Middle
  • Bluford Elementary
  • Brooks Global Studies
  • Colfax Elementary
  • Cone Elementary
  • Frazier Elementary
  • Guilford Middle
  • High Point Central High
  • Hunter Elementary
  • Kiser Middle
  • Jamestown Elementary
  • Johnson Street Global Studies K-8 Magnet
  • Joyner Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Millis Road Elementary
  • Murphey Traditional Academy
  • Nathanael Greene
  • Northeast Middle
  • Peeler Elementary
  • Pleasant Garden Elementary
  • Sedgefield Elementary
  • Shadybrook Elementary
  • Southwest Middle
  • Sternberger Elementary
  • Sumner Elementary
  • Twilight Academy
  • Welborn Middle

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Asbestos removal underway at some Guilford County Schools

Asbestos removal bids in for Armory

June 15, 2013

Asbestos removal bids in for Armory



MT. VERNON — The city council will hear bids on asbestos removal at the former Armory during its meeting on Monday night.Six companies provided bids for the removal of the asbestos, with General Waste Services, Inc., the lowest bidder, coming in at $159,120.”We have received a 50-50 grant for the abatement, up to $144,000 from the state,” City Manager Ron Neibert said. “With a bid of $159,000, we will not be using all the grant money. Our cost should be about $80,000.”Plans are underway to determine the best use for the facility, which was deeded to the city by the state. Some ideas for the facility has been to turn it into a Broadway Market or a venue for events.”Asbestos abatement is the first step to do anything with the building, regardless of the course the city takes with the building,” Neibert said. “The asbestos needs to be removed.”At this time, the gym floor in the building is being bid, with bids being opened on June 26. Neibert said there is no asbestos near the gym flooring and concrete was beneath the floor.”There is asbestos with the piping, insulation, tiles and tiling,” Neibert said. “It is also in the caulk on the windows, so the glass will be removed and the windows sealed for now.”Neibert said the city is working on a program to allow local artists to paint the sealed windows, “so we can make it more attractive as we decide on how to move forward with the building. In other business, the city will:Consider a preliminary and final plat for subdivision presented by Jeff Warren and Misty King;Hear a request for a final reallocation of funds for the 2012-13 budget;Hold a second reading on an ordinance to vacate an alley presented by Central Christian Church and Doris McGinnis; Hold a first reading on an ordinance regarding prevailing wage rates;Hold a first reading on an ordinance to re-zone property at Veterans Memorial Drive and 34th Street from agriculture to B-2 presented by Victor Cusumano;Hold a first reading on an ordinance to re-zone property at 2623 Benton Rd., from B-2 to R-1 presented by Misty King; and Hear a resolution authorizing an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development/Land and Water Conservation Fund grant earmarked to make improvements at Lincoln Park facilities, trails and water areas.The council will meet at 7 pm.. on Monday at the Rolland Lewis Community Building at Veterans Park.

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Asbestos removal bids in for Armory