Fly Tippers stop Dumping Asbestos Waste!

Councils, the length and breadth of Britain, expend hundreds of thousands of pounds clearing up after fly tippers. Dumping asbestos waste is particularly odious because it’s a health hazard to everyone who goes near it. And it’s expensive to remove.

The price you can pay for fly tipping

It’s clear that people fly tip because they don’t want to pay the cost of non-domestic waste disposal. If caught, fly tipping attracts a fine of up to £50,000 or imprisonment for a year via a Magistrates Court. Or five years in jail and an unlimited fine via the Crown Court. In addition, by breathing in asbestos fibres when removing the material, it could cost you your life, decades after the event.  Passers-by the site where asbestos has been dumped may also inhale the fibres and could ultimately die. So all in all it’s not a particularly cheap option is it?

We have to assume that those who fly tip are equally as careless when removing asbestos containing materials.  Undisturbed and in good condition, asbestos products such as old floor tiles, insulation boards and roofing aren’t particularly hazardous. However, when broken they become extremely dangerous.  The amount of broken up asbestos found by councils year on year is staggering. Thanet District Council spent more than £100,000 last year in dealing with waste that had been fly tipped.

If you are even remotely considering dumping asbestos waste and/or other non-domestic waste in places that you shouldn’t – DON’T!  It isn’t worth getting a criminal record, being fined more than you could possibly ever afford and contracting an asbestos related disease.  It is grossly irresponsible to endanger the health of others too.

How to deal with asbestos in the home

A property in the UK, built before 1999 is likely to contain asbestos somewhere.  The material was widely used in construction because of its heat resistant and insulation properties.  Expect to find it in textured coated ceilings and walls, in or around fireplaces, wall panels, insulation boards and in linoleum or floor tiles.  Tanks, boilers and old pipes may also be lagged with it.

You can call in a surveyor or buy an asbestos self-testing kit which contains everything you require to collect samples.  Check out the Asbestos Sampling video below which shows how easy it is to do.  If the results come back negative, great but dispose of the waste properly! Positive results will entail contacting a professional asbestos waste removal operative.  In this way, the toxic material can be removed and disposed of safely.

However, if some of the asbestos products are intact and in good condition (such as floor tiles) it’s cheaper to cover over them.

More information about asbestos waste

You can find more information by clicking on Where to find Asbestos in the Home or call us for some free advice. We have a database of qualified, asbestos waste removal contractors and may be able to help you find one in your area. Do the responsible thing for your own health and that of others by purchasing an asbestos self-testing kit. The consequences of fly tipping don’t bear thinking about!

5 Great Christmas Gifts for Electricians

As the festive season approaches we all start to think about the best gifts to buy for friends and family. If you have a sparky in your circle here are some ideas on Christmas gifts for electricians that will be appreciated.

A good torch is always handy

Electricians, even with a full set of all the tools they need, will always appreciate more.  Torches are a great idea and they don’t come much better than the Streamlight 88033 ProTac 2AA 250 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight.  Batteries are included so you don’t have the embarrassment of them opening a gift and not being able to use it immediately.  It’s available from Amazon and a variety of online stores.

Cool electrician T shirts

There is a huge selection of T shirts you can purchase online printed with appropriate messages for the cool sparky.  We particularly like “Electrician Fixes The Stuff You Can’t” which is bound to raise a smile. Or for the more modest sparky you could choose “THIS IS WHAT AN AWESOME ELECTRICIAN LOOKS LIKE

Christmas gifts for electricians that save lives

In the course of their work electricians have to break or drill through plaster and plasterboards on occasion.  When working in an old house (built before 1999 in the UK) the chances are that such plaster and wall or insulation boards will contain asbestos.  Being exposes to asbestos fibres can lead to asbestos related diseases and ultimately death.  Asbestos cancer (mesothelioma) takes a long time to become evident, up to 40 years in some cases.

If an electrician goes out to a job and thinks asbestos may be present, the easiest thing to do is test the suspect material.  An asbestos testing kit could save his or her life.  The kit, available from Asbestos Sampling, comes with simple instructions, coveralls, a specialist mask and all the other things needed to take samples safely.   It might not be the first thing you think about in terms of a gift but it’s certainly one of the most valuable.

Making a fun statement

The “Trust me I’m an Electrician” cushions available from Etsy are fun and will integrate well with any colour of couch or bedding.  Single electricians will love them for their pads when they invite prospective partners round!

For the electrician with a new business

Electricians are highly skilled technicians.  They tend to be absorbed in their work which is a good thing considering the dangers of the job.  A copy of “How to win friends and influence people” will help them not only in business but also when interacting with customers. It’s a fairly old book that was first published in 1936 but has stood the test of time.

You can purchase all the above gifts online from the comfort of your own home but some may have restrictions on delivery times.  Order early if they appeal to you.


Christmas Construction Gifts for Builders and DIYers

If you’ve got a builder or DIYer in your life it can be difficult to find gifts for them.  Christmas construction gifts need to be chosen carefully.

Unless you know a little about construction, it may be that your gift to a builder may end up being given to someone else. It may sit in the garage or shed gathering dust if they can’t use it. So here are some great ideas for construction gifts.

For the ardent DIY enthusiast

Some DIYers are naturally talented, others not so much.  If you feel your DIYer could use a little help, home renovation videos will provide a lot of assistance.  Even for an experienced DIYer these instructive videos present amazing ideas that he or she may not have thought about.  Amazon has a great range of informative DVDs for home re-modellers easy instruction on how to get the job done properly.

Christmas construction gifts that save lives

Working on buildings that were built before 1999 in the UK is hazardous.  Most contain asbestos in one form or another.  It can be found in and around fireplaces, on lagging around boilers and pipes and even within the textured coatings on ceilings.  Insulation and wall boards are highly likely to be made from asbestos containing materials.  When you consider that a drawing pin can release 600 fibres into the air, imagine the danger of driving a nail through a wall board!

Asbestos related diseases may not surface until decades after exposure by which time it is almost certainly a death knoll.

Before tackling any job in an older property it is imperative to test for this deadly mineral. Asbestos testing kits are inexpensive and save lives.  Contain everything required to safely take samples, the result can come back within 24 hours.  Help protect your builder or DIYer this year by giving them an inexpensive asbestos testing kit.  The kit comes with complete step by step  instructions as to how to use it.

For the builder with a sweet tooth

As a stocking filler a chocolate tool box kit from Treasure Island Sweets is an excellent gift for a builder with a sweet tooth. It’s also great for children who aspire to follow in their parent’s footsteps!  Make sure they don’t overdo it though; eating a whole spanner might make them sick!

Construction gifts that last

Tool belts made from anything but leather tend to fall apart with constant use.  Leather tool belts from Rutlands are a good buy.  Made from the finest quality leather they’ll possibly last a lifetime. Wearing the belt saves the avid DIY enthusiast or builder going up a ladder and finding they haven’t got the right tool!

Brick and trowel cufflinks

A builder who takes pride in is appearance when surveying a job is likely to take pride in the work too.  Brick and trowel cufflinks are novelties but certainly a “dress to impress” feature.  Available on Ebay at less than £25, they are bound to delight any builder.

Knowing the builder makes buying Christmas construction gifts easier.  For example, if they work for a construction company it’s highly likely their tools are supplied.  In this case you should go for a more personalised gift.  However, if they are self-employed spare tools are always welcome.

It may be that you just want to thank your builder for doing an excellent job. Any of the above gifts will be appreciated because no matter how much they cost, it shows you have put some thought into it.

Asbestos in Classrooms is Killing Teachers and Pupils

Geoffrey Lee dedicated most of his life to teaching. Now at 72 he is dying from mesothelioma, a cancer he developed from exposure to asbestos in classrooms.

The type of asbestos he was exposed to is blue crocidolite. The material was extensively used in construction before 1985 when it was banned in the UK. It is also the worst type of asbestos to come into contact with because it is friable and easily broken.

For a decade Mr Lee breathed in the lethal fibres that emanated from the plasterboard in the classrooms, at the Newport College where he worked. He remembers dust being present but being told that it wasn’t hazardous to health. It was only in the 1980s that he learned about the dangers of asbestos. His concern is that other teachers and of course pupils who attended the Further Education College in Nash Road will also have suffered the same exposure. Read the full story here

Artwork display boards

Gina Lees, whose career spanned 30 years in teaching, died aged 51 in 2000 from mesothelioma.  Her husband Chris, not satisfied with what he was told officially about her death, started to research.  He now believes that her death could have been prevented had she not been exposed to asbestos in classrooms.

Artwork display boards and insulation boards contained asbestos prior to 1999. Remember how proud we were as pupils when our teacher pinned our pictures up in class? That act alone, when using drawing pins, released lethal fibres into the air, 6,000 per pin to be precise! Chris Lees founded Asbestos in Schools Group when he found so many teachers had suffered a premature death due to asbestos exposure.  According to Health & Safety Executive the current figure is 19 deaths per annum.  You can read the full information about Chris’s efforts to spread awareness here.

The ongoing problem of asbestos in schools

From 1945 to the early 1980s there was a boom in the construction of schools.  The main types of this natural mineral contained in construction materials were blue asbestos (crocidolite) and brown asbestos (amosite).  Both types are considered to be extremely hazardous to health.  Amosite carries a higher risk for causing mesothelioma.

Whilst left undisturbed asbestos containing materials don’t pose a threat.  However, in the normal course of school activities the potential for disturbing it is higher. Children carving their names into classroom walls that have been covered with asbestos board it may result in disease many years later.  Teachers pinning up work and pictures carries the same risk.

Testing for asbestos in classrooms

The HSE acknowledges that buildings constructed before the year 2000 are likely to contain asbestos containing materials. This includes residential, commercial and industrial properties as well as hospitals and schools.

If you are a teacher working in an environment you believe may contain asbestos fibres, ask the school to test for it.  If a private school, asbestos self testing kits are available at minimal cost to the budget. In state schools pressure the council to test. Asbestos in classrooms is killing people who have been exposed to it.