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August 19, 2018

‘Betty’ opens eyes to asbestos prevalence

Karen Wicks and Cr Henk Van de Ven stand with the asbestos awareness trailer at Bunnings Albury yesterday afternoon. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Karen Wicks and Cr Henk Van de Ven stand with the asbestos awareness trailer at Bunnings Albury yesterday afternoon. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

A MOBILE home named Betty is making its way through the North East this week to help raise the awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

Betty was at Bunnings Albury yesterday targeting tradies and DIY renovators as part of national Asbestos Awareness Month this November.

Albury Council is supporting the campaign, which has run since 2011 to tackle the rise in asbestos-related diseases.

Betty’s curator and chauffeur Karen Wicks said the issue had been around for a long time.

“We are also promoting the ‘Mr Fluffy issue’, which is a type of loose fill insulation made entirely from asbestos that was pumped into the roof of houses in the 60s and 70s,” she said.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of it, it is a cotton wool looking substance.

“Workcover is offering free inspections for people who think they might have Mr Fluffy asbestos roof fill in their ceilings at the moment for 12 months.”

At least one in three homes contain asbestos, which can be found in any brick, weatherboard, cement board and clad home built or renovated before 1987.

It can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and under floor coverings, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, garages, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, fences, extensions to homes and backyard sheds.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause incurable cancer mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer, asbestosis and benign pleural disease.

Mrs Wicks said the best way to be safe was to use an accredited asbestos removalist.

“We’re not saying you can’t renovate with asbestos yourself, we prefer people not to, but if you do want to do it yourself there is a limit of 10 square metres and you need to kit yourself out in the correct way and take the appropriate safety measures,” she said.

Albury Council’s Henk van de Ven said Betty provided important information.

Betty will be at Wangaratta Bunnings from 10.30am-11.30am tomorrow. Visit asbestosawareness.com.au.

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‘Betty’ opens eyes to asbestos prevalence

Solicitor's asbestos warning after death of pensioner

Solicitor’s asbestos warning after death of pensioner

York Press: Ray Brown died from the lung condition malignant mesothelioma

Ray Brown died from the lung condition malignant mesothelioma

A SOLICITOR has warned that asbestos disease does not have a ‘sell-by date’ after an inquest heard how an 86-year-old York man had become its latest victim.

Howard Bonnett, of Corries Solicitors, said that in recent times, he had been dealing with many more case of men and women in their 80s who were suffering the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

He said York Acting Coroner Jonathan Leach had recorded at an inquest that Raymond Brown, of Rawcliffe, had died because of the cancer.

“The inquest heard evidence that Mr Brown had been exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s during his work as a pump engineer on large scale industrial projects including various power stations and factories,” he said.

“Mr Brown developed problems with breathing in February and following investigations he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March, and succumbed to the disease at York Hospital on April 5. He leaves a wife Margaret and children Christine and David.”

He said Mr Brown’s death was another sad tale of mesothelioma affecting an otherwise normal man.

“At 86, he rightfully thought he had missed this sad scourge which has affected too many people in the York area. I am sorry to say that asbestos disease does not have a “sell by “ date.

“Raymond’s death shows that if you have been exposed to asbestos then you have the risk of diseases like mesothelioma for the rest of your days.”

Mrs Brown said the family had known for many years that Raymond had developed asbestos damage to his lungs.

“We had hoped that he would not be another sad statistic of this awful disease,” she said.

“For many years, he suffered with ill health and we wish he had been around to have fought this disease and to have seen justice done.

“We hope other asbestos victims and their families keep an eye out on their health and make sure they get an early diagnosis and get the best treatment that they can “

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Solicitor's asbestos warning after death of pensioner

Former East Lancs teacher in absestos cancer claim

Former East Lancs teacher in absestos cancer claim

A FORMER teacher believes the life-threatening cancer she is suffering from may have been caused by exposure to asbestos during a 22-year career at schools in East Lancashire.

Janet Gent, a victim of the lung condition mesothelioma, is now appealing to her former colleagues to come forward as her lawyers prepare a claim for compensation.

Mrs Gent worked for eight years until as a home economics teacher at Walton High in Nelson and is convinced she was exposed to asbestos fibres or dust at the former Oxford Road school.

Her legal representatives, Thompsons Solicitors, understand that neither her, nor her colleagues, were made aware of the potential dangers in their working environment.

Four years ago the Lancashire Telegraph reported that 213 schools in Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn, Rossendale and Ribble Valley were found to have asbestos in their structures.

But education officials then insisted that the material, which comes in a variety of forms, was not dangerous unless it was disturbed.

Refurbishment programmes at a number of local schools have included work to remove asbestos from walls or other partitions.

Mrs Gent, who still lives in the Nelson area, also worked as a supply teacher at 15 high schools or special schools in East Lancashire, and one in South Yorkshire, from 1983 to 1995.

These include the former Barden, Ivy Bank, Habergham, Gawthorpe and St Theodore’s high schools and a special school in Burnley, Walshaw and Mansfield high schools, and Town House and Hendon Brook special schools in Nelson, Park and Primet High, along with Gibfield special school, all in Colne, Tullyann School in Darwen, and Valley special school in Rossendale.

Joanne Candlish, Thompsons’ asbestos team head, said: “It is vital that we trace Janet Gent’s co-workers to enable a full investigation to be carried out into her history of asbestos exposure “Mrs Gent needs and deserves to see justice done and we are committed to helping her achieve this.”

Potential witnesses are being asked to call Mrs Candlish on 0151 224 1644.

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Former East Lancs teacher in absestos cancer claim

Second delay for asbestos school

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Second delay for asbestos school

Petition opposing Lordswood asbestos depot gains 1,200 signatures

A petition objecting to an asbestos depot has been handed to Medway Council.

Eight-year-old Ben Atkins presented the papers to Robin Cooper, director of regeneration at Medway Council, yesterday (Wednesday).

Campaigners hand in their petition

Campaigners hand in their petition

The Lordswood Against Asbestos Action Group were joined by Chatham MP Tracey Crouch and councillors David Wildey (Con), Alan Jarrett (Con) and Vince Maple (Lab), who are backing their fight, at the council offices.

A total of 1,200 signatures have been collected opposing the application for a waste transfer station in North Dane Way, Lordswood.

The plans were withdrawn earlier this year after more than 1,000 protests, but have since been re-submitted so protesters have had to lodge their views with Medway Council again.

Asbestos First, run by Debbie and David Hales, wants up to 70 tonnes of waste asbestos to be transferred at the site each week.

The former grit depot, which houses Asbestos First’s offices, can take vans containing the material but workers are not allowed to remove it.

Mrs Hales told a meeting earlier this year that the system would allow builders facing high disposal fees to off-load small amounts of asbestos. It would then be taken to bigger tips and reduce fly-tipping. Mrs Hales added that all waste would be double-bagged and stored in locked skips.

The council has received 308 letters of objection. The application is likely to be heard at a committee meeting on September 11 but could be delayed until October if councillors request a site visit.

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Petition opposing Lordswood asbestos depot gains 1,200 signatures