Asbestos list goes online

A new database will hold records of all buildings containing asbestos

The first national online register of every property in the UK containing
asbestos has been unveiled by the TUC.

At the same time, the trade union body has called on the Government to make
it mandatory for employers and building owners to survey their premises for
asbestos and make those registers public. The not-for-profit database,, aims to list every property in the UK containing

According to figures complied by the TUC and, about 85
per cent of UK commercial properties – approximately 850,000 buildings – still
contain asbestos.

About 73 per cent of flats built between 1945 and 1980, some 400,000 units,
and most houses built before 1985 contain asbestos. Between 1900 and 1985 some
six million tonnes of asbestos was imported into the UK, with most of it used
in the construction of buildings.

TUC general secretary John Monks said, "The death toll from asbestos
currently stands at a shocking 4,000 a year, and by 2020 asbestos could be the
main cancer killer, with as many as 200 people dying every week.

"With so little known about the asbestos history of individual
buildings, every time a builder begins work on a renovation or conversion, or a
firefighter enters a burning building, they are putting their lives at

In a separate development, the TUC and the Parliamentary All Party Group on
Occupational Safety and Health has called on insurers to guarantee people with
asbestos-related diseases will not lose compensation payments after the
collapse of insurance company Chester Street.

Up to 80,000 victims could receive only a fraction of their compensation,
after Chester Street’s administrators said they could only pay out 5 per cent
of the insurance company’s debts, warned the TUC.

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