Thousands of asbestos-filled fly tipping incidents have been in recorded so far in 2017, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has shown.
According to the FOI data, requested by ITV News, there have been 3,222 illegal dumps containing asbestos this year alone, a rise of around 14% compared with 2014.
The news broadcaster reports that the cost of dealing with asbestos fly tipping to local councils exceeds more than £1 million each year.
Asbestos is a fibrous building material used in houses, factories, schools and even hospitals. It can potentially be found in any building developed before 1999, when an outright ban was brought into force in the UK.
When the material is disturbed, fibres can break off and, if inhaled, can cause serious or even fatal diseases such as mesothelioma, a cancer of the inner lining of the abdominal walls.
Many people have been unknowingly exposed to asbestos such as teachers, site workers and tenants.
Consequently, there have been thousands of compensation claims sought from victims of illnesses related to asbestos exposure.
‘Serious public health risk’
The broadcaster’s report shows that some local authorities can take up to three months to remove fly tipping sites containing asbestos, despite most official targets being around five days.
A spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGS) responded to the data, saying: “We need a new streamlined system which helps councils – one that is nimble, flexible and effective.
“Not only does fly-tipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, especially with toxic waste.”
Reference: ITV News
Date Published: September 30, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown