A small oxygen bubble of publicity recently surfaced in the press, attempting to downplay the widespread dangers of white asbestos, still to be found in many buildings and land sites around the UK.

A little asbestos awareness goes a long way in dispelling biased and unfair news reporting, especially on a subject with a long history of countless thousands of workers suffering with asbestosis or mesothelioma and legitimately pursuing claims for asbestos compensation.

An example of how the deadly material still lurks undetected in many premises and its presence is taken very seriously indeed, is revealed in a news story just days in to January of this year.

Council residents were campaigning in Cheshire, urging councillors to oppose the redevelopment of land which would stop plans for 123 new homes in Widnes over fears of disturbing dormant asbestos discovered on the site of a former Asbestos Cement works.

The concerns led to the developers being required to make a full, detailed site investigation, risk assessment and a strategy for the safe remediation and development of the site. Planning permission would only be granted if “stringent conditions” were met.

Because much of the plant production – of a wide range of cement products containing asbestos -between1916 and 1999, was on a site which pre-dated most environmental restrictions and controls, it was considered that there was a high risk of contamination. Furthermore, it was stated, that this could have an adverse impact on the proposed developments, particularly the residential element.

All the asbestos identified on the residential development site was chrysotile or white asbestos associated with cement, either as a waste-slurry or as broken asbestos cement product and campaigners feared that disturbing the land would lead to dormant asbestos being distributed into the surrounding air.