AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

What is asbestos?

Asbestos composes such a risk to humans that the failure to detect, monitor and safely disposing of asbestos can have deadly implications to people that have come into contact with it. However, asbestos related diseases often take years to develop and children are most at risk from contracting asbestos related diseases.

So who is to blame if a child is exposed to asbestos and later dies from a related disease and is there any come back? I’m not so sure that there are enough cases where organisations are found to be prosecuted for causing death due to neglect. After all it can take years to emerge and companies come and go.

So are organisations taking the potential health risks that asbestos poses within workplaces seriously enough?

img Asbestos ID 6778 Asbestos; Are Organisations Taking The Potential Health Risks That Asbestos Poses Seriously Enough?

Img: asbestos, source

Potential Asbestos Found at Children’s Hospital

A recent case of potential asbestos exposure suggests not; A Health and Safety executive carried out an asbestos survey at a children’s hospital in Glasgow, firstly in 2009 and found that there were potential asbestos dangers within a certain room of the hospital. The Hospital was supposed to keep an eye on any further developments through regular asbestos checks. The Health and Safety executive then returned two years later, in 2011 to carry out a survey on the asbestos and found that asbestos fibres were present in the air and that the room had been exposed to these asbestos fibres. In addition to these horrifying findings, the Health and Safety executive also found that the health board had not carried out the necessary checks in order to determine the state of asbestos, as they were supposed to.

Who could be affected?

Outside contractors were also potentially exposed to these harmful fibres, as maintenance was being carried out in and around the asbestos affected room and therefore, the number of people potentially exposed to asbestos is very high.

Moreover, children may not have entered the asbestos contaminated room, however, there is such thing as secondary asbestos; a person who comes into contact with asbestos fibres can pass them on to others who come into contact with them. This is known to cause many unwarranted cases of asbestos related diseases and therefore, there could be many children within the hospital that could later develop an asbestos related disease, which by that time could be too late to do anything about in terms of prosecution and health wise.

Health Board

The most worrying element of this case is that the health board failed to take the necessary steps to avoid potentially exposing people to the fibres. There is no excuse for this happening, especially in a hospital full of ill children – this is shameful on behalf of the so called ‘health’ board.

What Next?

It is not known whether or not the asbestos will cause any person future illness, but there is a high chance due to the circumstances surrounding the issue. Whether or not the health board will be prosecuted and found guilty of neglect that remains to be seen. Also the extent of the damage is not known and therefore, could be very difficult to file a law suit that is fully justifiable against the health board.

Personal Opinion

I personally put this down to neglect and the health board/persons responsible should be prosecuted for exposing both staff and children to asbestos fibres. Correct measures for asbestos removal should have been followed and this seems a case where asbestos has not been treated with due diligence and care. Unfortunately this could have deadly consequences for many in years to come whether through primary asbestos exposure or secondary.


Asbestos can be either primary or secondary and can take many years for asbestos to become present, by which time is too late and with that the ones that should be found responsible, often get away with neglect.

About the Author: This article was written by Sean who has been in the indutrsy for 10 years and is an expert in asbestos removal and the dangers that exposure can bring.

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