Asbestos was found on the side of a country lane near Cotehill, Carlise. Health and Safety Experts were called to the quarry entrance on Armathaite Road to deal with the corrugated asbestos roof sheets. They stated it was clear that whoever left the extremely dangerous waste knew it contained asbestos as it was labelled with the word ‘asbestos’. The sheets had been broken up, which would have released dangerous asbestos fibres into the air. This was a cause of concern as it is when fibres are inhaled into the lungs that a person is in danger of contracting one or more of the asbestos illnesses of mesothelioma, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
This is the latest in a string of incidents where asbestos has been found illegally dumped. It has endangered the public and the person(s) who dumped the asbestos. It is likely these incidents are caused by rogue contractors who are not able or willing to pay specialists to deal with the asbestos waste safely.
Willie Whalen, Trade unionist and Carlisle City Councillor said:
‘This is totally unacceptable and highly irresponsible. Just dumping asbestos in this way in a public place is highly dangerous, and just not acceptable in a civilised society because of the risk. Whoever has done this needs to be caught and prosecuted. People should not even touch this stuff because you can pick up asbestos fibres on your clothes and then if you come into contact with a child you could pass them on. People just don’t realise how dangerous this stuff can be. At the moment, there are around 20 people diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer every week.’
It has since been confirmed that work to remove the asbestos safely has now started and the danger to the public will be removed shortly.