A retired builder who has suffered two bouts of cancer is warning people about the dangers of asbestos after he discovered the potentially fatal substance in his garden in Buckinghamshire.
Mr McCloud, 75, discovered asbestos at the bottom of his garden about three months ago.
When he contacted the housing organisation, Red Kite, to inform them of the asbestos, a representative came out to assess the situation.
However, 11 weeks later Mr McCloud said he has heard nothing from the housing association and that he is growing increasingly concerned about the potentially hazardous substance in his garden, which is next to a public footpath.
Mr McCloud said: “My garden used to be a show garden. My son, John, won a competition. We love the garden, but now we’ve found asbestos in it.
“I have asbestos on my lungs. It can activate what I have already got. I got asbestos when I was in the building trade and I have had two operations to get rid of the cancer.
“I’ve roped the area off to protect my family and visitors, but there’s a public footpath that runs alongside my house and I can’t be here all the time to warn them.”
Mr McCloud said there used to be a pond in his garden, but fish kept dying so he moved it. He now believes asbestos poisoning could have harmed the fish.
He said that his main concern now is for his family, but that he is also worried about members of the public walking nearby who might be infected.
He said: “I must protect my family and the public. I know what it could do to you – the things that asbestos does to you is unbearable. You lose not only your breath but near enough your life.
“The public have to know how dangerous it is and something needs to be done.”
Red Kite representatives have re-visited the property and confirmed that the asbestos is not dangerous, but it will be removed.
Zosia Katnik, spokesman for the housing association, said: “The asbestos material in the garden is not hazardous in its current state and location and does not relate to any work carried out by Red Kite.
“The rubbish in Mr and Mrs McCloud’s garden, which includes the potential asbestos sheet material, is their own responsibility to remove in line with their tenancy agreement.
“However, we have taken steps to assess the location and physical condition of the sheet material and have now removed it.
“We will now also review the circumstances and take a view on who should pay for the cost of removal.
“We would like to apologise for the delay in advising Mr and Mrs McCloud about how they should have managed the material. Red Kite has very high standards when it comes to asbestos removal and we take any suspected material very seriously.”
If you or a family member have been affected by exposure to asbestos, please contact us today on Freephone 0800 294 3065 or talk to us on live chat where we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.